Donald M. Thompson - Wills, Trusts, and Estate Planning


Life Estate

This is also referred to as a life interest. Someone with a life estate has a right to the use of the asset in which she or he has a life estate for her or his life. The right can also exist for the life of someone else. The right extends to the use of the asset and the income from it. The right does not extend to consuming the asset. These concepts arose with respect to land. The holder of the life estate, called a life tenant, could farm the land, sell the crops and keep the proceeds. The life tenant could also live in any house on the land. The life tenant could not sell the land outright. Nowadays this concept is usually applied to financial assets. The life tenant has the right to income, but not principal. For practical reasons, assets to be used by a beneficiary for life are usually put in trust so a trustee has control over them with power to enforce the terms of the life tenancy..

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Illinois Life Estate Lawyer Donald M. Thompson * 55 W. Monroe #3950; Chicago, IL 60603
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