Life estate puts home sale on hold

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DEAR BOB: I own a house where my elderly mother holds a life estate. She lives alone in the house and may someday opt for a smaller apartment. If this happens, and she refuses to release her life estate, do I have any legal recourse? --Patrick L. DEAR PATRICK: Legally, you are the remainderman, subject to your mother's life estate. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. You should get a copy of the document that created her life estate. If it was well written, it should say that when your mother dies or moves out for longer than six months, her life estate terminates. If the life-estate document was poorly written, it is open-ended and gives your mother a life estate without stating what happens if she moves out for longer than six months. Should that happen, you would probably have to bring a quiet title lawsuit to terminate her life estate. For more details, please consult a local real estate attorney. IF YOU OWN A HOUSE, YOU NEED A LIVING TRUST DEAR BOB: Is there any way to leav...