Confusion sometimes reigns when mention is made of granted life estates and retained life estates. The two are quite different,1 and are governed by different rules. Retained life estates usually involve original ownership of property with the decision made to grant another a limited interest for a designated time but with retention of the remaining interest. A granted interest is the interest given to another but of less than the entire interest. As an example, the father as owner of a section of farmland purchased the land in 1970 and farmed the land himself but granted to his only child in late 2017 a right to farm the land on his retirement beginning March 1, 2018 until the father’s death (or, after his father’s death, the granted life estate could become full ownership). That would be a granted life estate to the son. The father would have the remaining interest in the land until his death or until he sold the retained interest or gifted the retained interest to another.



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