Q: How does one remove a 'life-use' clause from a real estate quit-claim deed?
Our grandmother died in 2003, having previously (1988) signed a Quit-Claim Deed giving her house to my brother, reserving life use for herself. She had no assets when she passed other than the 'life use' clause; we neglected to probate her will (out of ignorance) and now cannot locate the will. How can we remove her life-use clause from the deed and give clear title of the property to my brother?
A: Unfortunately the only way to get rid of the life use is to probate your grandmother's estate. An estate tax return reflecting the full value of the property needs to be filed with the probate court and a certificate releasing the estate tax be issued and recorded. This terminates the life use interest in the property.
Steven Basche agrees with this answer
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