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A life estate, an interest in land the duration of which is restricted to the life or lives of a particular person or persons holding it, or an estate in fee, an interest in property that is unconditional and represents the broadest ownership interest recognized by law.

In order to be categorized as a freehold, an estate must possess the characteristics of (1) immobility—in the sense that the property must be either land, or some interest derived from or affixed to land—and (2) indeterminate duration.

Determinable freeholds are life estates created by language that provides that the estate is to terminate automatically upon the occurrence of a specified event.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


n. any interest in real property which is a life estate or of uncertain or undetermined duration (having no stated end), as distinguished from a leasehold which may have declining value toward the end of a long-term lease (such as the 99-year variety). (See: leasehold)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.


originally an estate of free tenure. Nowadays the term is used to denote a legal estate in FEE SIMPLE ABSOLUTE IN POSSESSION, the most complete form of ownership of land.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006
References in periodicals archive ?
He told the House of Commons earlier this year: "We intend to create a new statutory regime for freeholders that is based on the rights enjoyed by leaseholders.
These casual agreements aren't legally binding, and you could end up continuing to pay fees to the freeholder for permission to alter your own home.
A representative of the freeholders told SurreyLive on Thursday (September 20) the problem was "being dealt with by a number of people.
The plan has drawn objections not only from Howell officials, but from other concerned parties, many of whom showed up in Freehold Borough on the afternoon of July 27 to make their feelings known to the freeholders..
They were lifted by their arms and legs by two fellow Freeholders and "dunted" - placed three times on the official dunting stone - in the rarely used initiation ceremony.
THE stair carpet in the communal area of our block needs to be replaced but we freeholders don't know where to buy a new one or what to look for.
Three disinterested freeholders of the county determined that GRMM was entitled to $285,550 as a result of the appropriation.
In addition to being president of the Senate, Sweeney has stepped in as the state's acting governor, and served as director of the Glouster Country Board of Chosen Freeholders. This in addition to his full time job as a union organizer.
However, the board of elected officials in Ocean County, known as freeholders, refused to transfer the pension.
It turns out the Ocean County [N.J.] Board of Freeholders does have a heart.