What are a life tenant’s rights?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What are a life tenant’s rights?

My father has passed away and in the Will it states that it is given to me but my mother is allowed to live in the house until she passes away. Since she currently has the house up for sale, am I entitled to any of the money if it sells and or is she allowed to sell the house?

Asked on March 22, 2016 under Real Estate Law, California


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

 A life tenant enjoys the right to possess the property, much the same as if they were the owner. The exception being that they cannot sell the property since they only have possessory rights (i.e. to use and benefit from the land) and not ownership rights (i.e. the ability to convey title of the land to someone else). At this poit, you should consult directly with a local real estate attoreny; they can best advise you further.

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