Generally, a life estate is created by a deed or will where the language of the instrument manifests an intention
on the part of the grantor or testator to pass to a grantee or devisee a right to possess, use, or enjoy property
during the period of the grantee's life.  Eversole v. Williams, 943 S.W.2d 141, 143 (Tex. App.- Houston [1st
Dist.] 1997, no writ).  While no particular form of words is necessary to create a life estate, the words used must
clearly express the grantor's intent to create a life estate.  See Miller v. Wilson, 888 S.W.2d 158, 161 (Tex.
App.- El Paso 1995, writ denied).  Here, appellant argues, without citing any legal authority addressing a deed
of trust, that Mullane granted Johansen a life estate through the above referenced language in the Deeds of
Trust, documents drafted by appellant, not Mullane.  In making this argument, appellant mistakes the purpose
of a deed of a trust.  The purpose of a deed of trust is to secure to a lender the repayment of a borrower's
debt.  Sonny Arnold, Inc. v. Sentry Sav. Assoc., 615 S.W.2d 333, 339 (Tex. Civ. App.- Amarillo, 1981) aff'd 633
S.W.2d 811 (Tex. 1982).  To accomplish this purpose, a deed of trust creates only a lien on property and does
not constitute a conveyance of the property.  Sandel v. Burney, 714 S.W.2d 40, 41 (Tex. App.- San Antonio
1986, no writ).   We hold that, as a matter of law, the Deeds of Trust did not create a life estate in Johansen.
Financial Freedom Senior Funding Corp. v. Horrocks (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Jul. 21, 2009)(Anderson)
real estate litigation, probate law, suit to quiet title, declaratory judgment, demand note, life estate, reverse
mortgages, statute of limitations for foreclosure of lien in real property, deed of trust)
AFFIRMED: Opinion by
Justice Anderson     
Before Chief Justice Hedges, Justices Anderson and Seymore   
14-08-00109-CV Financial Freedom Senior Funding Corp v. Michael L. Horrocks, Administrator of Estate of
Mary Edythe Mullane, Deceased   
Appeal from Probate Court No 4 of Harris County