What is a life estate?
The term “life estate” refers to property that is owned by an individual only through the duration of his or her lifetime. Therefore, it’s always for an indefinite period of time. We usually encounter life estates when dealing with real estate. When you have a life estate, you are called the “life tenant.” For example, you can sell or give your home to your children, but retain a “life estate,” thereby reserving the right to live in, use, enjoy, and control the home until you die. Your children would be called the “remaindermen.”