A Life Estate

At the risk of oversimplifying, a “life estate” in property (generally given to a widow in her husband’s will, but there are other situations where this happens as well) is the right to use the property and receive income from the property during the person’s lifetime. They do not have the right to bequeath the property to someone or to sell it. Oftentimes a widow is given a “life estate” in a piece of property from her husband and in so doing, he specifies to whom it is to pass after her death.