Select Page

Property I
SUNY Buffalo Law School
Steinfeld, Robert J.

The System of Estates
Estate in Land – describes horizontal relationship, it measures time, how long one is entitled to hold land:
1.      Fee Simple-potentially hold forever
2.      Fee Tail- hold until blood line runs out
3.      Life Estate- right to hold property to one’s life is over
4.      Lease Hold- monthly, yearly lease
no longer need touse the words to A and her heirs to create a fee simple it is assumed that an owner of a fee simple doesn’t explicitly indicate otherwise, presumption is giving all that she owns
Problem Page 202
 In 1600/ 1998 O conveys Blackacre to A for life B forever
         Old Rule- if A and his heirs do not appear no fee simple, by default life estate
·        A has only a life estate, B life estate
Modern Rule- do not have to state to her heirs in order to create a fee simple if    owns a fee simple presumes that one is giving a fee simple
·        A would have a life estate, B would have a fee simple
Heirs             v.               Issues
all of one’s                    immediate lineage children,
family members grandchildren, great grandchildren
 except in the old
days did not include
                        A              W
            B                  C
 D            E        F          G
-if A dies while B and C alive, B and C take half of what A had, in modern law Wife 
 would take a percentage
-if B dies before A, D and E get 25% each by right of representation
-if have no issue (children, grandchildren) goes up, first to parents if they are dead then to siblings
White v. Brown
-Lide left a will giving all her property to her White and her daughter to keep the house until she dies
-Lide’s nieces and nephews say Lide only gave White a life estate so they have a reversion
-Issue: does White have a life estate or fee simple
Majority Argument
1.      presumes that a person wants to give all that they have, Lide h

d B3 daughter
Who owns Blackacre in 1800?
old rule land inherited to eldest son if eldest son is dead then to first-born son
B2 owns Blackacre
Under Modern Law?
property goes to intestate succession, A takes 50%, B1, B2, B3 gets 1/3 by right representation
3. O conveys Blackacre to A and her heirs, if A dies intestate without issue will Black acre escheat to the state, No because there could be other heirs
4. O conveys Blackacre to A for life remainder to B and his heirs, B then dies intetsate without heirs A then dies . Who owns Blackacre?
            A has a possessory life estate, B and his heirs has a remainder in fee simple
B’s remainder escheat to the state
Difference between 3+4, 3 says without issue but can still have heirs and 4 says without heirs