What do I do if I am the executor of my mother’s estate and want to transfer ownership of her house to my brother with reversion rights at his death?

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What do I do if I am the executor of my mother’s estate and want to transfer ownership of her house to my brother with reversion rights at his death?

The idea of the transfer is for him to take advantage of his veteran status and not pay property taxes as long as he lives in the house. This to protect the house from his wife and to keep anybody from placing a lien on the house for his debts. If he dies, or leaves the house or fails to keep it insured and in good repair, I want to be able to take the property back.

Asked on February 8, 2012 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  Understand that a reversionary interest is a conditional transfer rather than an absolute transfer.  How the deed is worded is very, very important.  Now, you need to think through who would be the grantor here for the land to revert back should the conditions in the deed not be met.  You as executor?  Then you would have to keep the estate open indefinitely.  Not really prudent.  You could set up a trust and put the land in the trust.  Then some one will have to be the trustee.  Also, you need to check if this type of "ownerhip" will count for the VA.  Get legal help in your are.  Good luck.


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