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How to benefit from a life estate

Many Nevada residents take estate planning steps such as making transfer on death or beneficiary designations where applicable. However, this may not be enough to ensure that a person's home is handled according to his or her wishes. Even if it does pass to an adult child or another preferred party, that person may be stuck with maintenance fees or mortgage payments until it eventually sells.

The use of a life estate may ensure that a home is transferred to a preferred heir. When a person creates a life estate, he or she has the right to live there until his or her death. After that point, the property is transferred to the remaindermen, which are an individual's heirs. Once remaindermen are named, they cannot be removed without their consent. Furthermore, the home cannot be mortgaged or sold without their consent.

To make the process official, a deed must generally be registered in the county where the home is located and in the presence of a notary. The deed will indicate the owner of the property as the grantor and the future beneficiaries as the grantees. It may also be necessary to update a homeowners insurance policy to include the beneficiaries as additional owners of the property.

The use of a trust may also help an individual keep control over his or her assets even after death. Assuming that it is constructed properly, it may allow an individual to transfer assets directly to a beneficiary upon death while reserving the right to use it while alive. An attorney may be able to help those who have any questions about how to create a trust that reflects their needs and adheres to applicable laws.

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