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Unformatted text preview: I. FREEHOLD ESTATES- General Rule: whenever there is ambiguity, ct always prefers construction least likely to lead to forfeiture 1. Fee Simple- An estate that has the potential of enduring forever, until the current holder dies without heirs. a. Absolute- • Key Phrase : “to A and his heirs” o Heir = issue (children) and spouse, then parents, then collaterals (siblings) o N.Y and most other states- the words “and her heirs” are not necessary. When there are no words of limitation, court will say it is fee simple absolute • Duration: Forever—it is a vested interest (interest that someone owns and cannot be taken away) • Future Interest in grantor: There is no possibility of reverter b. Determinable (Fee on Limitation in N.Y)- • Key Phrases: “so long as,” “until,” “while,” “on the condition” and sometimes “provided” • Duration: end automatically when stated event happens—Defeasible Estate • Future interest in grantor: possibility of reverter (NY says O has an “executory interest”) • N.Y’s 2 Rules: o If created before 1958 declaration to keep it in effect must be recorded every 10 years on public land record and if you fail to do that, the possibility of reverter is extinguished and becomes fee simple absolute o If created on or after 1958 no automatic forfeiture recognized as a matter of law . Holder of reversionary estate may sue to compel reconveyance (it is fee simple subject to condition subsequent.) c. Subject to Condition Subsequent (Fee on Condition in N.Y)- • Key Phrases: “but if,” “on the condition,” “retains right to re-enter” • Duration: no automatic termination but transferor may cut short by bringing suit when stated event happens—Defeasible Estate • Future Interest in grantor: Right of Re-entry • 10 yr Statute of Limitations- O conveys land to NYC on condition that it be used as a public park and if not, reverts back to O. In 1990 it is no longer used as a public park. O dies in meantime. O’s heirs cannot bring action in 2004 because SOL has run. d. Subject to a Covenant- • NOT type of fee simple • Never a forfeiture of the estate- remedy is damages or injunction • Example: “to C provided he always allow X to live there.” 2. Fee Tail- • Key Phrase : “to A and the heirs of his body” • Duration : successive life estates until A and his lineal descendant die out • Future interest in grantor : reversion • CTS ARE SPLIT: • Some states : language forming fee tails is void and unenforceable and they will be fee simple absolutes • Other states and NY: “O to A and the heirs of his body and then to B.” B takes if and only if A dies with no children alive at her death. If A dies with children alive, then B gets nothing....
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- Spring '02