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Property I
University of Kansas School of Law
Leeds, Stacy L.

Leeds Property Outline

Common Ownership

Concurrent Ownership

All owners have present possessory interests
Co-owners (joint tenants, tenants in common, etc. to be discussed later)

Present (possessory) estate and future interest

Rights change over time

Present Estate Holder

Holds a property interest now
But that interest will become possessory at some later date

At the termination of present interest

Power of the Grantor

Can convey all of what she has
Con convey something less
Can convey with conditions
Can dictate when interest will shift

Can grant all the property to the extent that they have it

Future Interest That Are Certain

O > A so long as liquor is never consumed on the property.

What happens when it is consumed?
What happens if not?

O > A so long as liquor is never consumed on the property. If liquor is consumed during A’s life, then to B and his heirs.

What is the nature of A’s interest?
What is the nature of B’s interest?

Dead Hand Control Problem

Grantor remains in control of what happens to property long after they die

Future Interest

Unlike servitudes, that control what is done to property, future interest law regulates future ownership estate.
Present interest = right to possess so long as property rights last
Future interest = right to possess when and if present interest terminates

Creation of Future Interest

Grantor specifies at the time of the conveyance (by sale, lease, will, or trust) when the property might shift to the future interest holder

Sometimes the grantee has control

O > A so long as A stays married to B, but if A divorces B, land goes to C

Sometimes grantee has no control

O > A until A dies, then back to O

Legal Issue in Future Interest

Whether the future interest is enforceable
Whether the condition triggering the future interest has been violated or has occurred

O > A unless A fails out of law school

a) Who can enforce it?
a. Was the language ambiguous? Time frame?

Present Estates

Fee Simple Absolute – the most complete form of ownership
b) X owns fee simple:
a. Entitled to present possession
b. Entitled to the future possession until death
c. Heirs will be entitled to possession upon death
d. Freely alienable (sellable)
c) Ex. O > A, O > A and his heirs, O > A in fee simple
a. O has no reversion, possibility of reverter or right of re-entry

Fee Tail – Purpose was to keep property in family


X has Fee Simple Subject to Condition Subsequent:

He has same definition of Fee Simple Absolute, subject to a condition which, if broken, allows the grantor to enter the land and reclaim it
Requires some action by grantor
Not automatic recovery

Ex. O > A and his heirs, but if the land is not farmed then O (and his heirs) may reenter and claim the land; etc.

Language: Provided That, On Condition, But If

Fee Simple Subject to Executory Limitation

X has Fee Simple Subject to Executory Limitation:

Same as Fee Simple Absolute but if condition is broken, ownership passes to a pre-determined third party
Has similar language to other estates, but it actually names a third party to which the interest will pass

Example: O > A unless the land is no longer farmed, then to B
Shifting to a third party on some event besides the current owner’s death
O has nothing because of the named executory interest

Language: Until, Unless
Self-Executing like Fee Simple Determinable