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Life estate

A life estate, at common law is an estate in real property that ends at death.

Since it ends at death, and the owner of the life estate cannot leave it to his heirs or convey a larger interest in the land than what the owner actually owns, a life estate is not an estate of inheritance. Life estates are measured either by the life of the owner of the estate, or by the life of some other person; these latter are called life estates pur autre vie, Law French for "during someone else's life."

Life estates are still created today, often as part of tax planning devices.

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