Temporary Assistance/Case Management Manual

0205.005.10.10 Life Estate, Dower Interest, Remainder Interest

  1. Life Estate: Exclude a life estate in determining equity in resources.  Life estate is explained as the right of an individual to possess, use, occupy, and receive income from the property during his/her natural life.  The interest ceases upon death.  The individual cannot sell the property, but can sell or mortgage the life interest.  The individual can use, sell, or dispose of the income received from the property.
  2. Dower Interest: Exclude dower interest in determining equity in resources.  Dower is the interest the surviving spouse has in real estate belonging to a deceased spouse.  It is only a life estate.  It does not exist unless death occurred prior to January 1, 1956.  Dower interest is one-third of the real estate for life the deceased spouse owned at death.  Dower has been abolished in all estates when death occurred after December 31, 1955.
  3. Remainder Interest: Remainder interest is the interest a person has in property when another person owns a life estate in that property.  Do not consider such remainder interest in determining equity in resources.  This occurs as long as another person continues to own the life estate.  If this person relinquishes the life estate or dies, consider the total equity in the property in determining eligibility under the resource maximum.