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It's just additional language in the deed. Usually it's after the legal description saying something like the following:
BUT RESERVING unto a life estate in the property for the life of .
That reservation is also sometimes contained in the paragraph that begins with "To have and to hold. ...."
Keep in mind, however, that any issue the lender would have with a transfer of property under the "due on sale" clause of the promissory note and/or mortgage would still be present even with your father reserving a life estate. If they haven't said anything in 6-7 years, they likely don't care. In fact, in my experience, lenders rarely care about violations of that provision if the loan is performing (i.e. it is not in default and payments are being made).
To avoid the due on sale clause, your father would need to amend his trust and leave the property to you in trust. Then he would transfer ownership to the trust. Although a transfer to the trust is a legal transfer, the Garn. St. Germain law (a federal law) keeps lenders from exercising rights under a due on sale clause if the transfer is to a revocable/living trust and the owner is the grantor of the trust and beneficiary of the trust during his lifetime.
Please let me know if I can provide clarification.
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