The rule has been well established that a transfer of a residence to a spouse with occupancy by the transferring spouse until death, would not result in inclusion of the value of the residence in the transferor's gross estate under a theory of a retained life estate. The courts have consistently required proof of at least an implied agreement between the husband and wife (assuming the transferring spouse continued occupancy) before that spouse is held to have retained possession or enjoyment so as to require inclusion of the residence in the gross estate. If the transferor is to prevail, it is generally also necessary to establish that the residence was not transferred in discharge of an obligation of support.
"Transfer of Residence with Continued Occupancy,"
Agricultural Law Digest: Vol. 3
, Article 1.
Available at: http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/aglawdigest/vol3/iss19/1