Having a Life Estate Provision in a Will

Life Estate Provision In Wills In Texas

When preparing an estate plan, some desire to leave their real property to certain persons but want to ensure that the heir they are leaving it to uses the property for a specific person and/or does not sell the property. A way to accomplish this is by including a life estate provision in your will.

Leaving a life estate in your will can be a useful tool for estate planning as it allows you to provide for someone’s use and enjoyment of a property during their lifetime, while still ensuring that the property ultimately passes to someone else after their death. It is also an appealing option because a life estate created by a will allows you to specify conditions or restrictions on the use of property during the life tenant’s lifetime. For example, you may specify that the life tenant cannot sell or lease the property, or that they must use the property for a specific purpose, such as a vacation home.

There is also recourse if the life tenant fails to follow any of their duties or restrictions. For example, if the Will specifies that the life tenant is responsible for maintaining the property in a certain condition or paying for certain expenses, the executor would be responsible for ensuring that the life tenant fulfills these obligations. If the life tenant fails to fulfill their obligations, the executor may have the authority to take legal action or terminate the life estate.

However, it is important to note that in Texas, homestead rights cannot be waived by a life tenant. Article 16 of the Texas Constitution provides that homestead rights are protected and cannot be waived, even if the waiver is included in a will or other legal document. Therefore, if you include the provision in your will stating that the life tenant waives their homestead rights, that provision will likely be unenforceable under Texas law.

Ultimately, the best way to include a life estate provision in your will depends on your specific circumstances and the goals you are trying to achieve. It is important to consult with an experienced attorney to ensure that your wishes are properly reflected in your will.

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