How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Terry L. Your Own Question
Terry L.
Terry L., Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 2820
Experience:  Better Business Bureau. 18yrs bankruptcy experience. Chicago Bar Assoc. American Bankruptcy Institute member.
15345323
Type Your Bankruptcy Law Question Here...
Terry L. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Elderly widower in Maryland wants to file Chapter 7. She resides

This answer was rated:

Elderly widower in Maryland wants to file Chapter 7. She resides in a house in which she and her late Husband deeded to their 3 adult children back in 2002. However, she and her late Husband retained a Life Estate in the property "without powers" which is clearly indicated in the 2002 Deed. If she files Chapter 7 in Maryland, must she list the Life Estate as real property that she owns in her schedules, or does the Life Estate "without powers" mean she did not retain an ownership interest in the property?

More importantly, can the Trustee or Court lay claim to the property(which does not have a mortgage or lien against the property)?

Thank you.

Terry L. :

Hi, thanks for your question. You should hire a lawyer for specific legal advice. No attorney client relationship is created here.

Terry L. :

Great Question.

Terry L. :

A life estate is an asset in a bankruptcy, and would be scheduled on Schedule A.

Terry L. :

The value here, is the question.

Terry L. :

Without reading all of the deed, if she did not maintain control of the property, ie: she cannot liquidate it, then there isn't much of an issue, since the bankruptcy trustee steps into the debtor's shoes, and can only do what the debtor can do.

Terry L. :

If she can't sell it without approval of the remainder, then the trustee cannot either, and the kids won't agree to that, I'm sure!

Terry L. :

So, if she has no legal right to sell, liquidate, etc, ..."without powers" then there is no issue in the bankruptcy estate, and the home won't be affected.

Terry L. :

So, a careful reading of the 'without powers' section of the deed will be crucial. Have her bankruptcy attorney review the deed docs and consult with an estate attorney/real estate attorney as needed if there is clarification needed.

Terry L. :

Thanks for your question, good luck.

Terry L. and other Bankruptcy Law Specialists are ready to help you

Related Bankruptcy Law Questions