Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in West Virginia

Life estate

While both of our parents were living they signed th house over to my sister and i..My father has since expired but mother is alive. The property taxes read my dad and moms name(life estate) and my sisters and my name below. What does life estate mean. Do we actually own the property?

Asked on 1/14/02, 8:18 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Jay Goldenberg Jay S. Goldenberg
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Re: Life estate

Ownership can be divided. You can conceive of you and your sister *both* owning the property -- you each own part.

In this case, ownership is divided by time. Your mother owns the right to the use of the property during her lifetime. You own the right to the use of the property after her death. Upon her death you will have complete ownership without a new deed, or dependent on her will. She cannot leave the property to anyone else in her will, because she no longer owns the use of it after her death.

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Answered on 1/15/02, 12:15 am

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