Can someone w/a life estate recover renovation costs at time of sale?

Asked almost 2 years ago - Kingston, NY

I have a life estate, my two brothers are the remainders. When we acquired the home, we all agreed to make inprovments and if things didnt work out we would sell the house and everyone would get the money they invested back and split the remainder of the proceeds 3 ways. Here is the problem. My one brother (although agreeing to sell) refuses to reimburse me for the cost of materials made during thr extensive renovations. i have invested some 25k in materials alone. Q; is there any way to recover these costs as origionally agreed?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Maria C. Tebano

    Contributor Level 15


    Lawyers agree


    Answered . If you don't have the agreement in writing, you will most likely have a problem enforcing the oral agreement. As a life tenant, you can prevent a sale of the residence. Perhaps you can use that as a bargaining position to get your brothers to reimburse you, since they can't sell the house without your consent and participation in the sale. There is your leverage! Alternatively, you can commence an action against them seeking to recover the funds you expended for improvements. Look at the deed to the property and see what life estate language is spelled out in the deed to determine what your obligations are as a life tenant. Hope this helps,

  2. Jayson Lutzky


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Need to take the paperwork to a local experienced probate lawyer to review. If it has not been sold, then if You have a life estate you can stay there.

    If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate... more

Related Topics

Deed to property

A deed is a written document describing a piece of real estate and documenting the transfer of ownership from one person (the grantor) to another (grantee).

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask a Lawyer

Get free answers from experienced attorneys.


Ask now

22,654 answers this week

2,759 attorneys answering

Ask a Lawyer

Get answers from top-rated lawyers.

  • It's FREE
  • It's easy
  • It's anonymous

22,654 answers this week

2,759 attorneys answering