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Can a Life Estate that was added into a real estate contract…

Can a Life Estate that...
Can a Life Estate that was added into a real estate contract to buy property be removed? Or can it be transferred to someone else without the consents of both the buyer and seller?
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
11/2/2017
legalgems
legalgems, Arbitrator
Category: Real Estate Law
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The proper way to terminate a life estate is for the life tenant to execute a quit claim deed for the benefit of the remainderman; that "merges" the two estates, creating unity and thus terminating the life estate.

This can only be done by the life tenant; a buyer or seller would not have any say over this.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
I'm not sure I understand. What the proper procedure is, can the life tenant execute a quit claim deed without consent to buyer who purchased home and is giving them life estate to property until their deaths?
Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Regardless of what the procedure is, can it be done without both the seller and buyer who are involved written consent?

So the buyer is giving the life estate?
The seller has no control over the property once the transaction is completed. So the buyer may grant a life estate if they choose to.

It would not be done until the buyer became the legal owner. Prior to that it would require the seller's consent as well.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
We are purchasing home (house next door) In the Warranty Deed was to buy home for $35k to be paid monthly directly to neighbor with receipts of course. Our intentions were to let the neighbors live in the home until they were deceased so they wouldn't have to move out and try to find a home at 80. The title company drew up contracts/deeds/paperwork to give them life estate/added into warranty deed. We didn't know what all a "Life Estate" involved or what rights we or they have and now neighbors are wanting to move in a felon straight out of prison (grandson) and we would just like to have control on who can move in or what home improvements can be done. So we are wanting to remove the Life Estate as a clause to contract can that be done? Also, can they transfer the Life Estate to someone else without our written consent?

Unfortunately if the contract provided for a life estate, or the deed has already been executed, that would remain valid unless the other party agreed to rescind it.

That would be upsetting but the life tenant does have control over the property during their lifetime and can allow a person to live in the home.

The life tenant has the exclusive use and control over the property during their life so they are allowed to rent it, but they are not allowed to transfer that interest.

You may wish to have an attorney review the contract to see if there is any defect that may justify rescission/reformation.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Can the whole contract be voided due to them breaching contract since they failed to disclose lien?
Customer reply replied 8 months ago
What type of lawyer would I need? What practice area? And do you have any suggestions in my area, Dallas Texas?

If there is a lien that is not disclosed, then generally that would be paid off during the escrow, before money is disbursed to the sellers, from seller's proceeds.

The preliminary title report should reveal all liens;

since this is public record and the preliminary title report is industry standard, normally the existence of a lien won't void the sale unless the contract states that, or the seller acted fraudulently. But since a lien is public record under the exercise of due diligence the buyer is expected to be aware of such liens.

The contract would need to be reviewed to determine if the existence of the lien is fatal to the contract.

A real estate attorney would best be able to assist (or a general civil attorney with real estate experience).

We can't give specific referrals however here is a link to the county bar's referral service:

http://www.dallasbar.org/lawyerreferralservice

legalgems
legalgems, Arbitrator
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