contingent remainder------------------followed by-----------------another contingent Problems on p. 286 b, c, 2, 3
E. Rules Furthering Marketability by Destroying Contingent Future Interests
1. Destructibility of Contingent Remainders
A remainder in land is destroyed if it does not vest at or before the termination of the preceding freehold estate. If the remainderman is not ready to take seisin when it is offered, he is wiped out and seisin moves on to the next vested estate.
(Florida still recognizes that rule in regard to an interest in land)
if it does not vest at or prior to termination of the preceding estate; contingent remainder fails (only applies at law = i.e. deed)
O to A for life; remainder to B heir’s: if A dies before B, then B’s heirs contingent remainder is cut off because the condition was not met before the natural termination.
Purefoy v. Rodgers – if an interest can take both as a contingent remainder and as an executory interest; it will be treated as a contingent remainder
: O to A for life; remainder to A’s children who reach 21.
Assume: when A dies the oldest child of A is 20, then the reversion of O takes the property, if A’s child turns 21 the next year Harry can take under the theory of springing executory interest subject to condition preceding
A dies and A’s child Harry is 21: Harry has a vested remainder subject to open
the Destructibility Rule does not apply to equitable interest
How to make an interest equitable? Put it in a TRUST Interest of the beneficiaries in a trust = equitable
most states have abolished the Destructibility rule
Doctrine of Merger-
If the life estate and the next vested estate in fee simple come into the hands of one person, the lesser estate is merged into the larger estate.
2. The Rule Shelley’s Case
the A for life, remainder to A’s heirs
** Takes the remainder interest and gives it to A**
(1) one instrument (2) creates a life estate in land in A, and (3) purports to create a remainder in persons described as A’s heirs
(or the heirs of A’s body), and (4) the life estate and remainder are both legal and both equitable, the remainder becomes a remainder in fee simple (or fee tail) in A.
- the life estate cannot merge into vested remainder in fee simple if there is an intervening vested life estate, blocking merger
- the rule applies only when the gift in remainder refers to an indefinite line of succession, rather than to a specific class of takers. The remainder must be to the heirs of the first taker by the name or heirs as meaning a class of persons to succeed to the estate from generation to generation, and not to heirs as meaning or explained to be individuals.
3. The Doctrine of Worthier Title
- increase alienation = positive
- common law gives reversion to “O”
- prefer to take by decent rather than purchase - “O” benefits
to A for life, remainder to O’s heirs.
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- Spring '07
- Common Law, Possession, Fee simple