Can I Create a “Life Estate” Using a Last Will and Testament?

A Last Will & Testament cannot create a binding “Life Estate” in real property, as it is not a deed.

Life Estates are created by transferring certain interests in a real property via a deed (i.e. a deed to a third party which retains a life estate in the grantor).

While a Last Will and Testament can certainly provide notice of the deceased person’s desires or intentions regarding the treatment of real property, it cannot be used to create or transfer any interest in real property.  As such, if your relative desires to create valid Life Estate interests in real property, the Last Will & Testament is not the proper document.

Further, we urge you to consider finding a qualified attorney to create life estates in real property, as these deeds can require precise language; if the Deeds are not written or prepared correctly, the interest in the real estate may not properly be created. Standard Legal offers a free attorney find service on its web site to help you locate a qualified local attorney to help create the Life Estate Deeds you need.

[Get complete details on Standard Legal’s Last Will and Testament legal forms software here.]