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Can you have a "life estate" deed on a piece of commercial property in Virginia? Or is "life estate", only for residences?

Pittsburgh, PA |

Mother owns a piece of commercial property. Could she deed the property by "life estate" to her children, but keep any income that is generated until her death?

Attorney Answers 3


I am not a Virginia lawyer, but I can say with confidence that you can create a life estate in commercial real estate in any state. However, if you live in Pennsylvania, you will probably need to work with a Pennsylvania lawyer who will collaborate with a Virginia lawyer on this property.

Clifford L Tuttle, Jr
Attorney at Law
Pittsburgh, PA

The foregoing answer does not constitute legal advice and does not create a lawyer-client relationship. Answers are based upon the facts stated and may change if there are additional facts not contained in the question.

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It is possible, but if you grant a life estate, then the life tenant would take the income once the deed is drafted, signed and filed. So mom would give up the cash flow. However, she could create the life estate to take effect at her death which would allow the cash flow to continue to her until she died. Get with an estate planning or real estate attorney to discuss these issues in more detail and to get conclusive answers.

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Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States. His phone number is 215-735-2336 or his email address is , his website for more tax, estate and business articles is and his blog is

LEGAL DISCLAIMER Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States. His phone number is 215-735-2336 or his email address is , his website is and his blog is <> Mr. Fromm is ethically required to state that the response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. Also, there are no recognized legal specialties under Pennsylvania law. Any references to a trust, estate or tax lawyer refer only to the fact that Mr. Fromm limits his practice to these areas of the law. These responses are only in the form of legal education and are intended to only provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that if known could significantly change the reply or make such reply unsuitable. Mr. Fromm strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to ensure proper advice is received. By using this site you understand and agree that there is no attorney client relationship or confidentiality between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in the subject area in your jurisdiction, who is familiar with your specific facts and all of the circumstances and with whom you have an attorney client relationship. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question or omitted from the question. Circular 230 Disclaimer - Any information in this comment may not be used to eliminate or reduce penalties by the IRS or any other governmental agency.

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A life estate is an ownership interest restricted to the recipient's lifespan. Strictly speaking, it has nothing to do with their living arrangements. You can have a life estate in a home, a commercial property, a property held for rental, and even non-real estate, if it's documented.

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