Raleigh, NC asked in Estate Planning for South Carolina

Q: I am the remainderman on a life estate deed with my mom and brother as life estate clients. Can I sale my ownership

My life tenants have put up a sale sign as of yesterday after tress have fallen on house and septic tank and other issues. The value is not up to par, I doubt they had insurance since they asking to sale , and no one mentioned anything to me

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1 Lawyer Answer
Nina Whitehurst
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  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Crossville, TN

A: In theory, yes, you can sell your remainder interest, but as a practical matter you might find it difficult to find a buyer who is willing to wait until both life tenants pass before he can take possession of the property.

The life tenants could also sell their life estates but, again, as a practical matter, they are going to find it difficult to find a buyer who is happy with only having the use of the property until the life tenants pass, after which title passes to you, the remainderman.

Any smart buyer is going to want the whole bundle of rights, yours and the life tenants', meaning all three of you would sign the sale papers. If the three of you are agreeable to that, then the next challenge is going to determine what share of the proceeds should go to each of you. That is tricky but not impossible. If you can't agree among yourselves, then you might have to go to court to get a judge to decide.

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