Pur autre vie? What does this mean?

A picture of a dilapidated, old abandoned house with the words "pur autre vie" in bold font

We recently answered a great question that you'll see on the real estate exam for one of our students!
Pur autre vie -- what is that and what does it mean? One of our excellent Realtors and instructors, Dan Brosch, helps us make sense of this question!

➡️ "I wanted to answer your question about life estates, pur autre vie, and remainder.

This can be a little confusing because both "Pur Autre Vie" and "Remainder" reference a third person in their definition.

The remainder or remainderman is a third person named by the grantor to have a future interest in an estate.

Pur autre vie means that a life estate endures over the lifetime of a third person, after which the property passes from the tenant holder to the original grantor or to a remainder.

Pur autre vie is best thought of as a duration of time or condition of ownership, not a person. It means "For another's life."

Here's a quick example to hopefully clear it all up:

My aunt owns a house. She granted it to me to live in and care for while my mother is living. So I own the house pur autre vie. After my mother dies, the house will go to my cousin.
My aunt is the Grantor.
I am the Life Tenant and my home ownership is under the condition of pur autre vie.
My cousin is the remainder.
(My mother is NOT the pur autre vie. The ownership arrangement based on the duration of my mothers life is the pur autre vie.)

As for the question, "Which goes to a third party?"

The best answer is the remainder. The remainder is a third party that an estate would go to.

Pur Autre Vie would be incorrect because nothing "goes to" pur autre vie. It is simply the duration of ownership based on the life of another."


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