Elkridge, MD asked in Estate Planning, Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Virginia

Q: As one remainderman of my moms life estate (my brother is the other) can I build a house on the property if all agree?

My grandparents left the house and 50 acres to my mom as owner of the life estate. My brother and I will inherit the house and 50 acres after her death to be split evenly (we have already agreed my brother gets the house + 20 acres and I get the remaining 30 acres). Am I able to build a house now on some of the land I will inherit when she dies?

2 Lawyer Answers
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Crossville, TN

A: If everyone agrees yes. But you do need to check building and zoning codes. You might be prevented from building a house without a legal subdivision. Or not. It is something to be verified.

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Potomac, MD
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: You need a title search before you invest significant money in construction. Assuming your mother has a life estate to the entire property, you will need her consent so long as she is alive. You will, of course, need all the other approvals you need in your jurisdiction for new construction, including zoning, building permits, etc.

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