Q: My stepmother moved out the house where she had a life estate. If we now sell property, does she get any of the money.
A: Most likely - yes, and perhaps more importantly, it's unclear whether you can sell the property without her signature/consent.This is hard to answer without actually seeing the document that created the life estate. I do not think simply "moving out" of the premises is enough to terminate the life estate ( again, unless the document says otherwise, as the holder of a life estate, she is, for all practical purposes, the "owner" and as such she could RENT the property).
To clearly terminate or surrender her interest in the property, she should sign and deliver a deed which states such intent.
Nina Whitehurst agrees with this answer
A: You need a title search first. Then if step mom has a Life Estate, she owns the majority of the title. There are IRS Regulations which give a percentage ownership between the life tenant and the remainderman. Hire a competent attorney to look into conveying the real property.
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