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What does something being bequeath and deive to someone for their lifetime mean

Smyrna, TN |

My dad left a property to someone for her lifetime mand upon her death then it goes to me. Does this mean that the person that it was bequeath and devise to has to pay the taxes and insurance?

Attorney Answers 2


  1. Based on your question, it appears that your father gave this person what is known as a "life estate" and that you are the "remainder beneficiary". As a general rule, the person who has the life estate (the "life tenant") has the obligation to pay property taxes, mortgage payments, insurance, and similar items unless the gift specified that someone else (you or a trust fund) was responsible for paying those items.

    Also as a general rule, if the life tenant fails to make these payments, you might have the right to terminate the life tenancy. You would need to consult with a knowledgeable local attorney to find that out (this is one of those "cross-over" areas of the law where either an estate planning lawyer or a real estate lawyer might be able to help).

    The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.


  2. I agree with attorney Brewer. The life tenant has a duty to hold the property and to not make waste for the remainderman or remainder beneficiary. If taxes and insurance are due during the life tenancy, then those expenses should be paid for by the life tenant or they risk damaging your interest in the property. A letter to the life tenant by a real estate attorney should advise them of their duty in this instance and should show the life tenant that you are serious about protecting your interest in the property.

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