Henderson, KY asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Kentucky

Q: How do we get out of a life estate?

A family member left her son a life estate and upon his passing left it jointly to myself and my brother and then to each of our children. The problem is the current life tenant struggle with both up keeping a very large farm and also financially struggles to pay the taxes due on it. Him, myself and my brother all want out of the life estate and would like to sell the property-completely ending our interest in it. I've been told that it can not be done because in my state there is no Rule Against Perpetuities in force. I've also been told that it can absolutely be done via lawsuit and the court would appoint an attorney to represent the "unborn and unascertainable heirs". If that is true what would that look like, who sues who? It would seem crazy to me that someone could be deceased and still control property forever.

2 Lawyer Answers
Timothy Denison
Timothy Denison
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Louisville, KY
  • Licensed in Kentucky

A: If the current life tenant wants to sell, and both remainder men are in agreement, just sell it to a purchaser. OnCe all three of you sign a deed, the life estate is extinguished and the property can be conveyed.

1 user found this answer helpful

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Knoxville, TN

A: Apparently there is more than just a life estate involved. Your lawyers think there must be a class gift to all children, born or not, involved, and if so, litigation with an attorney appointed to represent the unborn class members will be required. They, the defendants, receive notice through service by publication and service on the their attorney. It is doubtful there would be opposition, but it must be filed correctly and prosecuted to the end. With proper litigation, the RAP (which might help you) will not be an issue. If it is only a life estate/remainder deed, then Mr. Denison is absolutely correct.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.