Life Estate Deed Law and Legal Definition

Life estate deed is a document used to pass on the title in property from one party to another on the death of the grantor. The person named in the life estate deed is called the remainderman. In such cases, the property is not subject to probate. However, if the owner decides to sell the property, the remainderman must grant permission.

The following is an example of a state statute (South Carolina) on life estate deed:

S.C. Code Ann. § 27-5-20. “When, by deed or will or by any instrument in writing, a remainder in lands, tenements, hereditaments or other real estate shall be limited to the heirs, or heirs of the body, of a person to whom a life estate in the same premises is given, the persons who, on the termination of the life estate, are the heirs or heirs of the body of such tenant for life shall take as purchasers in fee simple, by virtue of the remainder so limited to them.”