Important matters relating to a life estate in Mississippi include the following:
- Grant the Life Estate: The owner of the property (grantor) must execute a legal document, such as a deed or a will, granting the life estate to the recipient (life tenant). This document specifies that the life tenant has the right to use and enjoy the property for the duration of their life.
- Identify the Measuring Life: A measuring life is the individual whose lifespan determines the duration of the life estate. Typically, the measuring life is the life tenant themselves, but it can also be another person named in the legal document. The life estate ends upon the death of the measuring life.
- Establish Remainder Interest: A remainder interest refers to the future ownership rights of the property after the life estate ends. The grantor must designate a remainder interest holder, who will become the owner of the property upon the death of the life tenant or the end of the measuring life.
- Record the Document: The life estate document should be recorded with the appropriate government office responsible for maintaining property records. Recording the document provides public notice of the life estate and ensures it is legally binding and enforceable.
- Fulfill Responsibilities: As a life tenant, it is important to understand your responsibilities. Typically, the life tenant is responsible for maintaining the property, paying property taxes, and keeping the property in good condition during their lifetime.
- Transfer upon Death: Once the life tenant passes away or the measuring life ends, the remainder interest holder assumes full ownership of the property.