Have you heard the term “remainderman” and wondered what it meant? You are not alone. Any Santa Ana Will lawyer will tell you that it is a term that is often used in the context of estate planning, but most people do not understand the meaning or purpose of it. In this article, we will discuss what a remainderman is and how they pertain to life estates.
What is a Life Estate?
A life estate is when ownership of real property passes from one person (the grantor) to another person (the life tenant) with the condition that upon the death of the life tenant, the property will pass to one or more other people (the remaindermen). In other words, a life estate is when a grantor gives someone else title to their land for their lifetime and then passes ownership back on to another person after their death.
What is a Remainderman?
The remainderman, also known as the “remainder beneficiary,” is the person who receives ownership of real property after the death of the life tenant. The remainderman has no legal rights until after the death of the life tenant and cannot demand possession or control over any part of the property while they are alive.
It is important that both parties involved in setting up a life estate understand what rights each possesses during its duration. The grantor retains certain rights including right of entry and right to compensation for use or damage done by the life tenant; however, these can be waived by agreement between both parties. The remaindermen have no rights during this time but will gain full legal rights once possession reverts back to them upon completion of all terms set out by either party at the inception of said agreement.
When it comes to life estates, learning about your rights and limitations can help ease any confusion about this common estate planning tool. With this knowledge in tow, you’ll have greater confidence when dealing with matters involving estate planning and real property transfers. If you have additional questions about life estate or would like to start the process of creating your own estate plan, please contact our Santa Ana will lawyers at (800) 244- 8814.