Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Estate, a generic term indicating the extent, of the title or interest of anyone in property of any kind. This is the legal signification of "Estate," which is not a piece of land or other property, but signifies the relationship between a man and property. The word was formerly used to signify a man's status or condition in life. It was also used to signify (as it still does) a class or order in the state. The law of England recognises two principal divisions of this subject, viz. Beat Estate and Personal Estate, and in many respects there is a separate law peculiar to each.

Real Estate is an interest in land, and may be aptly treated under three heads: (1) the quantity of estate, that is, the amount of the owner's interest therein; (2) the time when that interest commences and endures; (3) the quality of the estate, or the way in which it is to be enjoyed.

1. All real estate, not being of copyhold tenure [Copyhold], or what are called customary freeholds, is either freehold or less than freehold. Freeholds are freeholds of inheritance, or freeholds not of inheritance. Freeholds of inheritance are either inheritances absolute, called fee-simple, or inheritances limited, called qeeeelified or base fees, or fees conditional. A freehold of inheritance absolute or fee-simple is the largest estate or interest which a man can have. The owner may freely dispose of it to whom he pleases in his lifetime by deed or by will, and if he dies without making any disposition it descends to his heir. A qualified or base fee has some qualification or limit annexed, which may determine the estate, as in the instance of a grant to A and his heirs, "tenants of the manor of Dale." Whenever A or his heirs cease to be tenants of that manor, their estate is determined - that is, at an end. An estate tail or conditional fee (popularly known as an entailed estate) is a fee restrained to some particular heirs, exclusive of others, as to a man and the heirs male of his body, by which limitation his lineal heirs, female and collateral, were excluded - hence, the origin of this estate. A freehold not of inheritance is an estate which the owner has for his life only, or the life of some other person, or until the happening of some uncertain events. (As to tenant by curtesy and tenant in dower, see Curtesy', Dower.) Of estates less than freehold there are three descriptions - estates for years, legally known as chattels real, popularly as leaseholds, estates at will, and estates by sufferance. An estate at will arises where a man lets land to another expressly at the will of both parties, or without limiting any certain estate; either party may put aei end to the tenancy when he pleases. An estate by sufferance arises where a tenant, who had entered by lawful title, continues in possession after his interest has determined. [Lease.] All estates may be subject to u condition, or the happening or not happening of some uncertain future event, whereby the estate may be either created or enlarged or defeated. (2) Estates are either in possession or in expectancy. Estates in expectancy are divided into estates in remainder and reversion, and by executory devise or bequest; and, again, remainders are divided into vested and contingent remainders. (3) Estates may be enjoyed in four ways - viz. in severalty or by a single person, in joint tenancy, in coparcenerv, and in common. (See those titles.) Estates are also legal or equitable. It is a legal estate when the owner is in the actual seisin or possession, and also entitled to the beneficial interest himself, or in trust for some other person. An equitable estate is when some other person, not the person who is the actual and legal owner, is entitled to the beneficial interest of the property, of which that other is in possession. The power of the beneficial owner over his equitable estate is as complete as if ho were possessed of the legal estate.

2. Personal Estate consists of property, things, or chattels, etc., moveable of whatever denomination, whether alive or dead, as furniture, money, horses and other cattle, etc., for all these things may be transmitted to the owner wherever he thinks proper to go, and may therefore be said to attend his person, according to the maxim - mobilia ossibtts inherent. In many respects (notably on death in the absence of a will) an entirely different law regulates personal estate, including cheettels real. The devolution of personal estate is prescribed by the "Statute of Distributions," passed in the reign of Charles II. (22 and 23 Charles II., c. 10). [Intestacy-.]