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To abridge, settle, or limit succession to real property. An estate whose succession is limited to certain people rather than being passed to all heirs.

In real property, a fee tail is the conveyance of land subject to certain limitations or restrictions, namely, that it may only descend to certain specified heirs.

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


an estate tail or fee tail. In England, a settlement of land, destined to the grantee and the heirs of his body (or some more special destination; initially, such settlements rendered the land inalienable, i.e. not transferable to another owner, but after 1472 it came to be accepted that the entail could in certain circumstances be barred and the land made alienable). The whole law of entail was relaxed over time. Since the coming into force in 1997 of the Trusts of Land and Appointments of Trustees Act 1996 entailed interest cannot exist in equity, even by way of a trust. In Scotland, entails (also known as tailzies, ‘z' silent) were made possible by the Entail Act of 1683, provision being made for the setting up of a Register of Entails, publicizing which estates were entailed. As, initially, in England, entailing land in Scotland made that land inalienable. The Entail Amendment (Scotland) Act 1848 established a procedure whereby entails could be barred, and in 1914 it was provided by the Entail (Scotland) Act that no future entails of land in Scotland would be permitted, save to implement a direction to entail combined in a will executed before the Act came into force.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

TO ENTAIL. To create an estate tail. Vide Tail.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
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