Re: Life Estates
generally, no nor is he, generally.
Are we able to make changes to property without his permission?
if the life estate does not address such an arrangement, if step-dad allows you to live there you can. He can also charge you rent to live there if he wants to as well.
Are we able to live there, with him?
whatever you agree to.
What bills are we responsible for?
it is possible. speak to your preferred lender.
Are we able to borrow the home's equity on a line of credit?
basically, a life estate means the remaindermen (you and sis) have actual owner ship of the property but step-dad having a life estate gives him sole rights to the use of the property as long as he lives. For all practical purposes, it would appear as if he actually owned the property. He has that much control over the use of the property.
I am not an attorney and any advice is not to be construed as legal advice. You might even want to ignore my advice. Actually, there are plenty of real attorneys that you might want to ignore as well.