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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 113491
Experience:  Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
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I have lifetime estate in my ex boyfriend's will....is the

Customer Question

I have lifetime estate in my ex boyfriend's will....is the home and the decisions on it mine?
The will reads sale of the home goes to me and 5 siblings...the siblings are trying to cut me out.
The home is in WA state and I am now in Texas, I can not live in it...I can not afford the 4 grand per year taxes....am I responsible for taxes and insurance if I am not living in it?
I am 72 and can't move back to WA
Thank you.
Lindda
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
A life estate means that the person may use the home, live in the home, is liable for paying taxes and maintaining the home, but cannot sell the home or take a loan out to encumber the home. The life estate tenant has the rights to use and pay taxes and maintenance, but the others are "naked owners," who cannot terminate your life estate rights.
However, if you cannot live in the home and cannot use it, you have a right to abandon or terminate the life estate, which you can do in writing and walk away from it so the naked owners can do whatever they want with the home and would be liable to the taxes.
If the will said you are entitled to proceeds of the sale of the home with the 5 siblings, then the siblings cannot cut you out of that share. However, if you can no longer use the life estate, you can terminate that estate in writing, but as long as you retain the life estate, you are liable for expenses.