My father left his house to his 5 children, with a life estate for his longtime girlfriend, as long as she maintains the house and pays the property taxes. We completely understood his decision... however, she has quietly moved most of the contents and has filed a permanent change of address. The house looks abundant, yard and landscaping is all over grown. My brother contacted her and she claims to still be living in the home but only out of town on a family emergency for the past 4 months. Can we legally take the house since it's clear she is no longer living in the house?
1 Answer from Attorneys
No you cannot just take over the property. IF there is a true Life Estate given, then she has a right to it for life. There cannot be a requirement that she live in the property. IF she fails to maintain it OR pay the taxes, you as remaindermen can sue her to require that to be done. Seek legal counsel to proceed further