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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    7

    Default How to Remove a Life Estate from Deed and Title

    My question involves estate planning in the state of: New York

    I purchased my mother's house back in 2006 for FMV but she retained a life estate in the property. This was done becasue her lawyer insisted. I still don;t understand why. Regardless, I pay all taxes, mortgage, upkeep, utilities, etc etc.
    I want to refinnance the home but am being told that they will not do it since there is a life estate on the title. Can we remove the life estate without consequence? No taxes or anything extra? This was not a gift to begin with so I am hoping that there will be no fees associated with it.

    Any help or advice would help.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    OH10
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    17,019

    Default Re: How to Remove a Life Estate from Deed and Title

    She needs to disclaim rights to the life estate.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Behind a Desk
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    98,846

    Default Re: How to Remove a Life Estate from Deed and Title

    Unless the grant of the life estate says otherwise, the life tenant should be paying the taxes, interest portion of a mortgage (assuming the property benefited from the mortgage), routine maintenance, insurance, and similar routine costs. If you have been covering those costs for the past five years, despite the life tenant's being obligated to do so, perhaps you can calculate the value of your expenditures and treat that as the value you're providing for a quit claim of the life estate to you. You can get a life estate appraised - they usually have little value so any taxes associated with a conveyance at value should be minimal.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: How to Remove a Life Estate from Deed and Title

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    View Post
    Unless the grant of the life estate says otherwise, the life tenant should be paying the taxes, interest portion of a mortgage (assuming the property benefited from the mortgage), routine maintenance, insurance, and similar routine costs. If you have been covering those costs for the past five years, despite the life tenant's being obligated to do so, perhaps you can calculate the value of your expenditures and treat that as the value you're providing for a quit claim of the life estate to you. You can get a life estate appraised - they usually have little value so any taxes associated with a conveyance at value should be minimal.
    We can't just remove her name? Again, my wife and I bought the property outright. But her lawyer insisted on her retaining a life estate for some reason. We can't just remove her quid pro quo? No fees or anything?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    757

    Default Re: How to Remove a Life Estate from Deed and Title

    Is she alive? If so, is she agreeable to relinquishing the life estate?

    "Her lawyer insisted" is not grounds for voiding the life estate. You agreed to it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: How to Remove a Life Estate from Deed and Title

    Yes, she will sign to remove her name from the deed, IU just want to make sure that I will not owe any taxes or anything regarding the property. Again, it was paid for at FMV at the time of purchase...

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