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In a gift deed with life estate whom is the owner? The one giving or the one recieving?

San Antonio, TX |

I do know that the giver/donor can remain on property til remainder of his life.Then the reciever would then be the true owner. I ask cause if any issues arise with the property whom do the circumstances or situations belong to legally.

Its in Texas. I just want to know is it donor or reciever

Attorney Answers 1


The Grantor would be the party who transfers title in real property (seller, giver) to another (buyer, recipient, donee) by grant deed or quit claim deed.

You will need to make sure that when the deed is prepared that the life estate is created which will allow the grantor(s) who conveys property to the grantee, to maintain an interest in the property during the lifetime of the grantor(s).

Essentially the person who receives the life estate is not the owner but has the right to use property during their lifetime. The Life tenant has essentially all the same rights as the owner such as living in the property, renting out the property, excluding people from the use of the property. The life tenant must maintain the property and is not allowed to destroy the property.

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Abel Pena Ortiz II

Abel Pena Ortiz II


I agree with the above but you must remember that the deed is the vehicle that evidences the transfer of the property. With that in mind you must remember that life estate is a transfer of a present possessory interest. Meaning the person who holds the life estate may live there until there death. Depending on the wishing of the grantor, after that person who holds the life estate dies, then the property will either revert back to the grantor unless the grantor (in this case the gifter) has named a remainder to another party. Thus, as you can see the answer is not easy to answer but from what you have said, assuming the grantor has the remainder and the grantee (the person who has the life estate) has a present possessory interest. Meaning they can live on it to the exclusion of all others unless the grantor has reserved a present possessory interest in their gift.

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