My father deeded his property to my brother, sister and myself. He gave himself and his girlfriend a life estate. He passed away in January 2005, leaving just her with the life estate. She is now trying to have the acreage logged without our knowledge. We just happened to find out about it by dumb luck, we drove just happened to be in the area and went by the house. (We live an hour away.) We noticed a log skidder sitting on the property. No logging had comenced yet, but we found out that it was to begin the following morning. We contacted our attorney to have it stopped because we feel it would be waste on the property, decreasing the value of the land. We had a court date and the judge said she has to give us a wriiten notice of her intentions. Can we refuse her request? She signed a contract with a timber consultant and with a logging company to have it logged back in July 2007. On that contract it states she is the legal owner of the property and timber, and that she has the right sell it. She has already received full payment for the timber. My questions are:
1) Does she have the right to log the property without our permission or does that constitute waste?
2) If it does constitute waste, can we begin proceedings to have her life estate voided or annuled?
3) If she logs it without our permission is she entitled to keep all of the proceeds or do the remaindermen have any rights to claim a part of it?
4) Is she facing other legal issues in reguards to the contract she signed since she is not the legal owner of the property? (meaning that the logging company can sue her for siging a contract that is not legal.)
5) Does any of this violate the terms of the life estate?
Bottom line is we don't want the property logged at all we want to have her off the property but don't know what to do. ANy awnswers would be helpful.