Welcome! Thank you for your question.
The claiming of a Homestead exemption and Life Estate Ownership are two entirely different things. Life Estate is actual ownership of a piece of property for a period of time (his life). This ownership is not given up until he dies or deeds his life interest to someone else to own for the remainder of his life.
If he is not living there you do have a right to assure that he is doing all he can to secure the property and keep it up. If he fails to keep it up then you can sue him for "waste." Waste is damage to the property to your detriment.
I cannot provide you with legal advise. I have provided you with information about the law related to your question. My answer, and any information that you find online, should not take the place of having a consultation with a lawyer in your area to advise you regarding your specific issues.
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