(A) Generally, this term means all the assets and property owned by a person when that person dies. (B) This word his several meanings: 1. In its most extensive sense, it is applied to signify every thing of which riches or, fortune may consist and includes personal and real property; hence we say personal estate, real estate. 8 Ves. 504. 2. In its more limited sense, the word estate is applied to lands, It is so applied in two senses. The first describes or points out the land itself, without ascertaining the extent or nature of the interest therein; as my estate at A. The second, which is the proper and technical meaning of estate, is the degree, quantity, nature and extent of interest which one has in real property; as, an estate in fee, whether the same be a fee simple or fee tail; or an estate for life or for years Lord Coke says: Estate signifies such inheritance, freehold, term of years, tenancy by statute merchant, staple, eligit, or the like, as any man hath in lands or tenements Co. Lit. Sec. 650, 345 a. See Jones on Land Office Titles in Penna. 165-170. 2. In Latin, it is called status, because it signifies the condition or circumstances in which the owner stands with regard to his property.. 3. Estates in land may be considered in a fourfold view with regard, 1. To the quantity of interest which the tenant has in the tenement. 2. To the time during which that quantity of interest is to be enjoyed. 3. To the number and connexion of the tenants. 4. To what conditions may be annexed to the estate. 4.-1. The quantity of interest which the tenant has in his tenement is measured by its duration and extent. An estate, considered in this point of view, is said to be an estate of freehold, and an estate less than freehold. 5.-1. Freehold estates are of inheritance and not of inheritance. An estate in fee, which is the estate most common in this country, is a freehold estate of inheritance. Estates of freehold not of inheritance, are the following: 6.-1st. Estates for life. An estate for life is a freehold interest in lands, the duration of which is confined to the life or lives of some particular person or persons, or to the happening or not happening of some uncertain event. 7. Estates for life are divided into conventional or legal estates. The first created by the act of the parties, and the second by operation of law. 8.-1. Life estates may be created by express words; as, if A conveys land to B, for the term of his natural life; or they may arise by construction of law, as, if A conveys land to B, without specifying the term or duration, and without words of limitation. In the last case, B cannot have an estate in fee, according to. the English law, and according to the law of those parts of the United States which have adopted and not altered the common law in this particular, but he will take the largest estate which can possibly arise from the grant, and that is an estate for life. Co. Litt. 42, a. So a conveyance to I M, and his generation, to endure as long as the waters of the Delaware should run, passes no more than a life estate. 3 Wash. C. C. Rep. 498. The life estate may be either for a man’s own life, or for the life of another person, and in this last case it is termed an estate per autre vie. There are some estates for life, which may depend upon future contingencies, before the death of the person to whom they are granted; for example, an estate given to a woman dum sola fuerit, or durante viduitate, or to a man and woman during coverture, or as long as the grantee shall dwell in a particular house, is determinable upon the happening of the event. In the same manner, a house usually worth one hundred dollars a year, may be granted to a person still he shall have received one thousand dollars; this will be an estate for life, for as the profits are uncertain, and may rise or fall, no precise time can be fixed for the determination of the estate. On the contrary, where the time is fixed, although it may extend far beyond any life, as a term for five hundred years, this does not create a life estate. 33.-1. An estate for years, is one which is created by a lease; for years, which is a contract for the possession and profits of land for a determinate period, with the recompense of rent; and it is deemed an estate for years, though the number of years should exceed the ordinary limits of human life; and it is deemed an estate for years though it be limited to less than a single year. It is denominated a term, because its duration is absolutely defined. 34. An estate for life is higher than an estate for years, though the latter should be for a thousand years.
Law Dictionary – Alternative Legal Definition
1. The interest which any one has in lands, or in any other subject of property. 1 Prest. Est. 20. And see Van Rensselaer v. Poucher, 5 Denio (N. Y.) 40; Beall v. Holmes, 6 Har. & J. (Md.) 208; Mul ford v. Le Franc, 26 Cal. 103; Robertson v. VanCleave, 129 Ind. 217, 22 N. D. 899, 29 N. E. 781, 15 L. R. A. 68; Ball v. Chadwick, 46 111. 31; Cutts v. Com., 2 Mass. 289; Jackson v. Parker, 9 Cow. (N. Y.) 81. An estate in lands, tenements, and hereditaments signifies such interest as the tenant has therein. 2 Bl. Comm. 103. The condition or circumstance in which the owner stands with regard to his property. 2 Crabb, Real Prop. p. 2,