Life Estate Deeds Can be Useful – But Not Always

While a properly drafted life estate Deed can be a practical vehicle to avoid Probate in certain situations, it is generally not advisable if you have minor children since they cannot own real estate, nor is it advisable if there is a mortgage on the property since the mortgage company’s written permission is advisable due to the due on sale clause contained in most mortgages.  Additionally, the adult beneficiary (called a remainderperson) named in a life estate Deed will receives the property outright – there is no ability to control or manage real estate left in this manner, and, if a remainderperson is deceased at the time of the death of the Grantor then Probate will be required – oftentimes resulting in unintended beneficiaries receiving the real  estate.

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