My question involves real estate located in the State of: Oregon
My two brothers and I am the Remainderman of a Life Estate of our late mothers home and have many questions concerning our rights and how to deal with the Life Tenant who is the my mom’s late husband of the last 9 years of her life. The house and most everything in it was bought before my mom’s marriage to the Life Tenant and paid in full when bought. During their marriage, the Life Tenant contributed nothing (financially) to the house or expenses connected to the house. The one thing we are clear on is that moms surviving husband does have a Life Estate on the house for the rest of his life and will be referred to the Life Tenant during this thread. The Life Tenant had never been easy to deal with and since moms death, has even been more difficult to deal with. Most of the furniture (including many family antiques) according to the Prenub agreement belong to the Family Trust (my two brothers and me) but are to remain in the house for the use of the Life Tenant.
We have many questions concerning our rights and responsibilities as Remainderman and also have questions concerning the Life Tenants duties and how to ensure they are carried out. We have consulted the attorney we are using for the estate, but he had not clearly answered many of our questions. Am hopeful I can get some of our questions answered here. One more piece of information is that the Life Tenant has told us he intends to move out of the house in the near future as it is too much for him to take care of and wants to sell the house so he can have money to use to move into a retirement center. He feels he should get at least 50% of the sale of the house. The Life Tenant also said there is an upcoming bill due for the property taxes and wants to know how they are to be paid.
1. Who is responsible for what expenses connected to the house? We believe the Life tenant is responsible for the property taxes, utilities, and routine maintenance. Is that correct? We are not sure who is responsible for property insurance? Is there anything else the Life Tenant is responsible for? What are we (Remainderman) responsible for?
2. What recourse do we have if the Life Tenant fails to meet his responsibilities from question #1?
3. Can the Life Tenant legally have others live in the house? Does that change anything concerning the life estate? Can the Life Tenant rent the house out and keep the rent money? If the Life Tenant leaves the house, does the furniture and other things of ours he is “using” have to stay for others to use or can we remove them? Upon the Life Tenants death, if others are living in the house, how long do they have to leave?
4. If the Life Tenant want to sell the house (to get “his” money) can he force us to sell? (our attorney said NO) However, if we agree to sell (while the Life Tenant is still alive) what if anything does the Life Tenant receive from the sale of the house? (our attorney was less clear on this and said it was up to a “life estate arbitrator.”) Where do we get a Life Estate Arbitrator and is there a way to get an approximate value of how much from the sale of the house the Life Tenant is likely to receive before agreeing to the actual sale of the house?
I suspect I may know some of the answers I am likely to receive, but want to see what all of you may answer before going on with any further questions. Depending upon what answers I receive, I am likely to have more specific questions on the answers I receive.
Thank you in advance to all that answer my questions.