Life Estate Deed Form

Life Estate Deed Form

What Is a Life Estate Deed?

A Life Estate Deed is a legal document upon which the involved parties make an ownership arrangement for a certain existing piece of property. In this arrangement, ownership of real estate is transferred from one party, a life tenant (also known as a grantor), to another party, a remainderman (also known as a grantee or a beneficiary), after the life tenant's death. Until then, a life tenant keeps the life estate - they go on living in that property until the end of their life.

A printable Life Estate Deed form can be downloaded through the link below.

The Deed is a good way for both parties to secure their positions in terms of ownership, nevertheless, it creates tax consequences. The Life Estate Deed tax implications involve several circumstances, such as:

  1. After signing the deed, a life tenant is liable for real estate tax until their death.
  2. Only a life tenant can apply for tax exemptions if the real estate item was sold after they signed the Deed and before their death.
  3. The Internal Revenue Service recognizes the Deed as a sale, which creates estate tax liability.

To avoid any penalties created by misunderstanding the nature of the document, it is necessary to consult with a tax specialist or contact a local lawyer to find out more exact information.


What Is an Enhanced Life Estate Deed?

An Enhanced Life Estate Deed is a type of Life Estate Deed in which, unlike other cases, a life tenant keeps full control over the property and is allowed to mortgage or sell it. The real estate does not transfer until a life tenant's death, so they do not need a remainder beneficiary's consent if they want to do something with the property.

Not all states recognize an enhanced Life Estate Deed so before using one a filer should check their state's common law and make sure it is applicable in their state. The document generally consists of several parts, which include the following:

  1. Introduction. The document should start with a title and the name of the state and county where it was signed.
  2. The parties involved. In this part of the application, a filer should enter information about the parties entering the agreement, their names, addresses, and contact information.
  3. The subject of the Deed. Here a life tenant must state their will to transfer the ownership of a piece of property to another party after their death. A life tenant must also state that until then they will keep possession of the property and go on living there.
  4. Description of property. Individuals use this part to give a full description of the Deed's object. Here they must define the real estate, state its address and necessary characteristics.
  5. Other terms and conditions. A filer can use this section of the document to designate a parties' rights and responsibilities connected with taxes, the object of the Deed, whether they can sell it or not, etc.
  6. Witness's signature. A document should be followed by witnesses' signature, most of the time it is a public notary.

Filers can add other parts to the document, depending on their situation, the state where they are, and the property.

How to Terminate a Life Estate Deed?

Terminating a signed Life Estate Deed Form is possible, but complicated, that is why it is better to be guided in this situation by a specialist that has comprehensive knowledge in this situation. There are a few circumstances that might help to terminate the Deed:

  • The termination clause in the Deed itself. A document usually contains statements where parties have agreed on the circumstances when the Deed can be terminated;
  • Beneficiary's consent. To terminate or change a Life Estate Deed a life tenant must receive consent to do so from all their beneficiaries.

The uneasy process of terminating the Deed is also affected by the type of Deed signed and the state where the Deed took place, that is why it is necessary to keep an eye on state regulations in this sphere, as well as changes to it.

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