Definition - What does Life Estate mean?
Life estate refers to the permission or right to enjoy and use a real estate for one’s lifetime only. If a person inherits a life estate, he or she may live in it during their lifetime, but can’t sell or transfer the property to someone else. Life estate comes to an end at the holder’s death. When the holder is occupying the life estate, he/she is known as the "life tenant."
Justipedia explains Life Estate
Life estates are not as common as they were in the past; however, there still are situations where they are used. For example, a man might give a life estate to his second wife with the agreement that after her death, the title would be transferred to the children from his first wife.