Estates in Land
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What is the difference between a freehold estate and a non-freehold estate?
Freehold estate: Owner of the estate has title to or a right to hold the property
Non-freehold estate: Mere possessory interest
Types of Freehold Estates
- Fee Simple Absolute
- Defeasible Estates
- Life Estate
Fee Simple Absolute
Aggregate of all possible rights that a person may have in a parcel of land, including:
- - An unimpeded right to sell/convey all or part of the property
- - An unimpeded right to devise the property
Words of purchase
Describes persons ("purchasers") taking interest under a grant or device
Words of limitation
Describes the nature of the estate taken by purchasers
Definition of Defeasible Estates
An estate that may terminate before the maximum duration has run
Types of Defeasible Estates
- Fee Simple Determinable
- Fee Simple Subject to a Condition Subsequent
- Fee Simple Subject to Executory Interest
- Fee Tail
Definition of Fee Simple Determinable
An estate that terminates automatically when a specified future event occurs
What follows a determinable estate?
Possibility of reverter (may be implied)
Definition of Fee Simple Subject to a Condition Subsequent
An estate that may be cut short if the estate is retaken by the grantor or a third party when a specified future event occurs
Distinguish determinable from condition subsequent
- Condition subsequent grants a right to take the estate
- Determinable automatically terminates an estate
Definition of Fee Simple Subject to an Executory Interest
An estate that is automatically divested in favor of a third person when a specified future event occurs
Definition of Fee Tail
A freehold estate that descends to grantee's lineal descendants (children) only
Early Common Law
What follows a fee tail?
Future interst becomes possessory if and when the lineal line fails
- Either reversion in grantor; or
- Remainder in a third party
What is the modern law majority interpretation of traditional fee tail language ("to A and the heirs of his body")? What is the minority interpretation?
- Majority: grantee gets a fee simple absolute
- Minority: grantee gets a life estate, with a remainder per stirpes in the grantee's lineal descendants in being at the time of the life tenant's death
If the language of a grant is unclear, a _______ is preferred over a ________estate because the award is money damages rather than forfeiture
If the language of a grant is unclear, a fee simple ________ is preferred over a fee simple _________ because in the former, forfeiture is not automatic
Condition subsequent; determinable
What is a life estate pur autre vie?
A life estate which has a duration measured by a life other than that of the grantee
Who has a duty to repair?
- Life tenant
- Tenant for term of years
The scope of a life tenant's duty to repair is as follows:
A duty to maintain the property in a ________ state of repair, but ordinary _____________ are excepted. The duty is limited to the extent of ________, or if he personally _occupies the premises, to the extent of ___________ of the land.
- wear and tear;
- income derived;
- the reasonable rental value of the land
The scope of a tenant for term of years' duty of repair?
A duty to maintain the property in a ________ state of repair, but ordinary _____________ are excepted. The duty is not limited to the extent of ________, or ____________.
- wear and tear;
- income derived;
- reasonable rent value
What duties does a life tenant have?
- Duty to repair
- Duty to pay interest ona mortgage to the extent of profits derived from the property
- Duty to pay all ordinary taxes, to the extent of profits derived from the property
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