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Can a Life Estate be divided, or relinquished.

Searcy, AR |

My father gave me a farm withholding a life estate, and now that I want to build on the property, I need a clear deed to one acre.

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This would require your father's co-operation.

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He can deed you his life estate to the one acre building site. A local attorney can help you and it shouldn't cost too much.

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Yes it can be deeded to you to get clear title. It sounds like there may be more than 1 acres of land that he has retained a life estate. If that is true, then he could deed his remaining interest in that 1 acre and retain life estate ownership of the remaining land (again assuming farm is bigger than 1 acre). You would become owner fee simple absolute of that 1 acre. You would need to get the 1 acre surveyed so as to have an accurate legal description of the 1 acre so there is no dispute as to what you currently own, plus once you build a house on that property it will be taxed at a different rate and you want to limit the increased tax rate to only that 1 acre. I would recommend you get a lawyer to draft the deed properly in order to avoid in problems in the future, cheaper to pay lawyer to draft deed correctly now rather than have to go to court to fight either taxing authority or someone else over title issues.

This answer does not create a attorney client relationship and cannot be relied upon as a legal opinion as there are too many unknown facts to this matter to render an opinion at this time. Campbell & Grooms, PLLC

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