Estate Law Questions? Ask an Estate Lawyer.
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A life estate gives you what is called "right of use of the property and fruits" or "usufruct" over the property, but is does not give you right of ownership of the property. Upon you abandoning the life estate, the naked owners (beneficiaries of the estate) take ownership in full. The life estate tenant has no right to sell or encumber the property, the naked owners of the property have no rights to interfere with the life estate tenant's rights. So unfortunately, you cannot sell or encumber the estate.