Estate in Fee Simple

An estate in Fee Simple approaches as near to absolute ownership as the system of tenure will allow. It is capable of existing as long as there are heirs-at-law of the ownership for the time being, and since the law does not expect that there will be a failure of heirs, the duration of the estate is, in theory, unlimited. If in fact the owner dies intestate and without heirs, the land, save so far as it is required for payment of his depts., escheats to the lord- usually the Crown-under whom it is held. But this is the only way in which the estate can now determine. Moreover, the tenant for the time being who transfers the fee simple transfers an interest which the law treats as exhausting the possible duration of the ownership of the land. Consequently, neither a reversion nor a reminder can be reserved. But a fee simple may be devised by will subject to an executor device over, and such devise over, provided it is so limited that it must, if it takes effect, take effect within the period allowed by the rule against perpetuities is effectual and cannot be defeated by the prior devisee consequently, an alienee from such devisee takes subject to the executor devise.

 

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