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Reversion

- A reversion is any future interest left in a transferor or her successor.


- Example: To A for life, then to B if B survives A.
- If B does not survive A, there is a reversion to O in fee simple absolute.
- Reversions are freely alienable, devisable and descendible.
Possibility of Reverter
- A reversion subject to a condition precedent
- Example: To A and his heirs so long as the property is used for residential purposes only.
- If the condition is broken, reversion is automatic to O.
- so long as creates a fee simple determinable in A
- Possibilities of reverter are generally devisable, descendible and in most states, descendible.
- Minority position: Some states take the position that it is such a frail interest that if you tried to devise it
away, you destroy it.
- NOTE ALSO: When we are talking about marketability statutes, they may serve to cut off the right of entry 50
years after the date the instrument is created.
Right of Entry (Power of Termination)
- A power in a conveyor to take certain action which will terminate a possessory estate which he has conveyed.
- Example: To A and his heirs on the condition that the property shall always be
- Some states may say it is not a valid fee simple subject to condition subsequent without the absolutely
clear language: on the condition that, provided by, etc. a power of reentry
- Generally devisable and descendible
- reflects feeling at the common law that these were too indefinite of ever taking possession, so that they
were not deviseable or alienable in that jurisdiction.
- Most states now do in fact allow for these to be conveyed inter vivos
- NOTE ALSO: When we are talking about marketability statutes, they may serve to cut off the right of entry 50
years after the date the instrument is created.
Remainders
- First example is a vested remainder, which becomes a present estate
- It is vested in interest, not in possession. You have a presently protectable interest but have no right to
enjoy it until other estate is terminated.
- Second example is a contingent remainder, which is subject to a condition precedent.
- It a condition precedent to the vesting of the interest.
- It is contingent to some other event, in addition to the expiration of all prior estates, happening.
- Vested remainders are devisable,
- Contingent remainders
REMEMBER:

- A possibility of reverter is what follows a fee simple determinable.


- A Power of Entry/Right of Termination is what follows a fee simple subject to a condition
subsequent.

Classification of Remainders
-

Indefeasibly vested
- To A for life, remainder to B and his heirs
- A has life estate
- B has indefeasibly vested (vested in quality and quantity) remainder in fee simple absolute
- To A for life, then to C for life
- A has a life estate
- C has a vested remainder in a life estate. Cs life estate is vested, but he may never enjoy it. Why?
Because he might die before A does. But it is a vested remainder because there is no contingency
preceding it other than the expiration of the estate created simultaneously with it.
- O has a possibility of reverter: After A dies and after C dies, it reverts to O.

Vested subject to open


- To A for life, remainder to the children of B and their heirs
- (B is alive, has at least one child and could have more)

This is a gift to a class. There is one member to the class, and has a vested remainder as soon as they
are alive. However, it is subject to be reduced in quantity if more members of the class are created
(more children are born).
This is a defeasible interest: with each child borneach additional member of the classyour share of
the interest goes down.

Vested subject to a condition subsequent


- Vested subject to total divestiture
- Technically these are both vested subject to executorial limitations
- To A for life, then to C and his heirs but if C does not marry before A dies, then to D and his heirs
- The language but if gives you a remainder vested to a condition subsequent.
- If you took the grant away, left out the language to D and his heirs it would be a reversionary
interest: a right of reentry
- To A for life, then to B and his heirs, but if B fails to survive A, then to C and his heirs
- A has a life estate
- B has a vested remainder subject to a condition subsequent.

Contingent (also called subject to a condition precedent)


- To A for life, remainder to B if he passes the Indiana bar.
- O has reversion
- A has a life estate
- B has a contingent remainder
- Contingency precedes vesting. We know that from the language.
- Built in precedent contingency
- At common law, if A died before B had passed the bar, there would be a gap in sesin. The
common law said that contingent remainder was destroyed.
- The Doctrine of Destructibility of Contingent Remainders: If the CR fails to vest at or before
the end of the life estate created with it, it is destroyed. This was to help make the title
marketable as early as possible.
- Common law said that the life estate goes back to O, so O now has a reversion in fee
simple and a life estate, and those two estates merge into a fee simple absolute. Bs
interest was thought to be too slender an estate to prevent a merger from occurring.
- If you have destroyed the Destructibility Doctrine, then this contingent interest transforms
itself into an executory limitation.
- Why? The contingent interest will cut down the FSA that O has, so O has a reversion in
fee simple subject to the executory interest now in B if he passes the bar. Not only that, it
would be a springing executory interest in B in fee simple.
-

To A for life, remainder to Bs heirs


O has a reversion interest in fee simple
A has a life estate
B has nothing
- Bs heirs have a contingent remainder, because we dont know who they are until B dies. Living
people have no heirs. The heirs therefore are unascertainable people. It is contingent upon there
being heirs when he dies.
- This is an implied precedent contingency.
- If B dies before A:
- Under common law, it goes back to O
- Now, it goes to O in fee simple subject to an executory interest in B