Understanding a Life Estate

One of the most important items of property law is the idea of a life estate. What is a life estate? Any good life estate definition must describe the right of a person to control a piece of property until his or her death. A life estate is a property right that gives the person this control until he or she passes. Most often, people will have a life estate in some form of real property. Real property is land or some structure sitting on that land. With the power of this form of estate, a person can sell, rent out, use or do anything else with the property that is within the law.

Why is this term important?

Why is the life estate definition important? First, it is a sort of property right that does not expire. It is also a property right that is transferable. For instance, you might transfer the right to some property to your son. If that son dies before you die, the property reverts back to you. That is the power of this kind of right and it is why so many people are interested in protecting those rights.

How do federal estate taxes apply?

Though they share a name in part, federal estate taxes do not apply to all of these estates. Federal estate taxes are imposed on the entire property holdings of a person with massive amounts of net worth. The estate tax is essential the right of the government to levy a tax when you choose to transfer your net worth to another person after your death. From 2010 on, the federal estate tax is only applied on those people with a net worth above five million dollars. For most people, this tax will never become a relevant item.

Getting a lawyer to protect your property rights

Though you might not think so, property rights are some of the most vulnerable in society. Often times, people will take use of some piece of your property. In that case, you will have to fight to protect your rights. In some instances, you might not even know that you have a legal right to a property. In each of these cases, a good lawyer is an absolute necessity. That good attorney can help to protect your property rights. He can help to ensure that you get the right to control that property accordingly.


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