fee simple absolute


the right to possess land granted without any provisions under which the right could come to an end. If a fee simple absolute is ‘in possession’ (meaning that the owner of the fee simple absolute has the immediate right to possession of the land) then it is a legal estate, which is commonly called a ‘freehold’. If, however, the right to possession will arise only in the future, e.g. on the happening of a particular event, then the fee simple absolute is only an equitable interest. The adjective ‘absolute’ distinguishes a fee simple absolute from a fee simple that will come to an end when a specified event occurs, known as a ‘determinable fee simple’, and from a fee simple which exists only as long as some condition is fulfilled, known as a ‘conditional fee simple’. The adjective ‘simple’ distinguishes a fee simple from a right to possession of land which endures only so long as the individual to whom it was originally granted or a lineal descendant of that individual is alive, called a ‘fee tail’.


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