A Few Words about Life Tenancy in California
Ownership of property takes many forms. These forms solve particular situations. Life Tenancy or Life Estate, is one form of ownership in California.
What Is the Purpose of a Life Estate?
Consider an elderly uncle who owns and inhabits a home. He would like to transfer his home to his nephew upon his death. The uncle has the ability to deed the property to his nephew with a provision saying: “Grantor (the uncle) reserves to himself a life estate in said property.”
This gives the uncle the ownership and use of the house up to the moment of his death. Then, his nephew will be given ownership.
Moreover, the home does not have to be probated. This is because the decedent’s estate does not include the home.
In larger estates, a Life Tenancy can also reduce federal estate taxes on the decedent’s real properties. The real property covered by the Life Estate isn’t included in the decedent’s estate. This is because the Life Estate terminates at the moment of death, and the property is then owned by someone else.
Life Estate is a simple form of estate planning. Therefore, it allows the owner to direct the transfer of property several years in advance of their death.
Talk to San Diego probate attorney Scott Grossman about your situation and any questions you might have. Call our lawyers at (951) 683-3704 or (888) 443-6590 for your FREE 30-minute telephone consultation. Also, order our FREE legal book The Insider’s Guide to California Probate and Trust Administration.