tail

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Tail

Limited, abridged, reduced, or curtailed.

An estate in tail is a legally recognizable interest of inheritance that goes to the heirs of the donee's body instead of descending to the donee's heirs generally. The heirs of the donee's body are his or her lawful issue (children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and so on, in a direct line for as long as the descendants endure in a regular order and course of descent). Upon the death of the first owner to die without issue, the estate tail ends.

Cross-references

Entail.

See: end, termination

tail

the limitation of an estate or interest to a person and the heirs of his body, or an estate or interest limited in this way.

TAIL. An estate tail is an estate of inheritance, to a man or a woman and his or her heirs of his or her body, or heirs of his body of a particular description, or to several persons and the heirs of their bodies, or the heirs generally or specially of the body or bodies of one person, or several bodies. Prest. on Estates, 355; Cruise, tit. 2, c. 1, s. 12.
     2. Estates tail, as qualified "in their limitation and extent, are of several sorts. They have different denominations, according to the circumstances under which, or the persons to whom they are limited. They are usually divided into estates tail general or special.
     3. But they may be more advantageously arranged under the following classes.
     4.-1. As to the extent of the degree to which the estates may descend, they are, 1st, general; 2d, qualified.
     5.-2. As to the sex of the person who may succeed, they are, 1st. General, as extending to males or females of the body, without exception. 2d. Special, as admitting only one sex to the succession, and excluding the other sex.
     6.-3. As to the person by whom or by whose body those heirs are to be begotten, they are either, 1st. General, as to all the heirs of the body of a man or woman. 2d. Special, as to the heirs of the body of a man or woman begotten by a particular person, or to the heirs of the two bodies of a man and woman. On the several species of estates tail noticed under this division, it may be observed, that the same estate may at the same time, be general in one respect; as, for example, to all the heirs of the body in whatever degree they are related; and may be, special in another respect, as that these heirs shall be males, &c. Prest. on Estates, 383, 4.
     7. The law relating to entails is diversified in the several states. In Indiana and Louisiana they never existed they are unknown in Illinois and Vermont. In Ohio, Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, and New York, estates tail are converted into estates in fee simple by statute; and they may be barred by a simple conveyance in Pennsylvania. In Alabama, Missouri, Mississippi, New Jersey, Connecticut and North Carolina, they have been modified, and in Georgia, they have been abolished without reservation. Griff. Reg. h.t. Vide, generally, 8 Vin. Ab. 227 to 272; 10 Id. 257 to 269; 20 Id. 163; Bac. Ab. Estate in tail; 4 Com. Dig. 17; 4 Kent, Com. 12; Bouv. Inst. Index, h.t.; and. 1 Bro. Civ. Law, 188, where an attempt is made to prove that an estate resembling an estate tail was not unknown to the Romans.

References in classic literature ?
The pig- which is corpulent and lazy -- is occupied now in picking up the stray leaves that fall from the cabbages, and now in giving a kick behind at the gilt repeater, which the urchins have also tied to his tail in order to make him look as handsome as the cat.
In addition to the features which I have already described, the beast was equipped with a massive tail about six feet in length, quite round where it joined the body, but tapering to a flat, thin blade toward the end, which trailed at right angles to the ground.
It was surrounded by a pack of some hundred wolf-like creatures--wild dogs they seemed--that rushed growling and snapping in upon it from all sides, so that they sank their white fangs into the slow brute and were away again before it could reach them with its huge paws or sweeping tail.
I had been calling Nobs in the meantime and was about to set out in search of him, fearing, to tell the truth, to do so lest I find him mangled and dead among the trees of the acacia grove, when he suddenly emerged from among the boles, his ears flattened, his tail between his legs and his body screwed into a suppliant S.
Instantly, always a gentleman, Jerry smiled with flattened ears of courtesy, wagged his tail, and approached.
I sat by his side rapping for the waiter with my tail, and eating free lunch such as mamma in her flat never equalled with her homemade truck bought at a delicatessen store eight minutes before papa comes home.
Namgay Doola, men said, had gone forth in the night and with a sharp knife had cut off the tail of a cow belonging to the rabbit-faced villager who had betrayed him.
When Bobby came up from Deolali and took his place among the Tail Twisters, it was gently but firmly borne in upon him that the Regiment was his father and his mother and his indissolubly wedded wife, and that there was no crime under the canopy of heaven blacker than that of bringing shame on the Regiment, which was the best-shooting, best-drilled, best set-up, bravest, most illustrious, and in all respects most desirable Regiment within the compass of the Seven Seas.
Later, my Fate sent me the boatman who had desired to cut off my tail with an axe.
Then the fox stretched out his tail again, and the young man sat himself down, and away they went over stock and stone till their hair whistled in the wind.
As if aware of her danger, the wolf turned her eyes on Karay, tucked her tail yet further between her legs, and increased her speed.
Very likely if we ask him politely to let us pull three hairs out of the tip of his tail he won't hurt us.