Legal Question in Real Estate Law in New York

Retain life use

I would like to know if my parents have me on the deed to their home, what does 'retain life use' mean? Also, what is 'joint tenant with right of survivorship'?


Asked on 3/11/09, 2:07 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Re: Retain life use

Retain life use is also known as a life estate. What it means is that a person transfers ownership of the property to another (for example, parents to their child or children) but instead of transferring full ownership, they retain life use. They continue to live on the property and enjoy full use during their lifetime.

Joint tenancy is described under New York Code Article 6, part 2:

Briefly, it means you share equal interest in the property and if one party dies, the decedent's interest passes to the other as full owner. Joint tenants cannot separately sell their interest or bequeath them to their heirs since they share the ownership equally.

Here is an article published recently discussing the benefits and rationale behind these types of property transfers:

Read more
Answered on 3/11/09, 8:34 pm

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