To access this feature, please Log In or Register for your Casebriefs Account.

Add to Library




Contingent Future Interests

View this case and other resources at:
Bloomberg Law


The Rule in Shelley’s Case If a conveyance creates a life estate in a grantee and a remainder in fee simple in the heirs of the grantee, the words “heirs of .” are treated as words of limitation and the grantee is given a fee simple absolute.
Example: “To A for life, remainder to the heirs of A,” or “to the children of A.” In both cases the Rule in Shelley’s Case will treat A as having a present possessory fee simple absolute and his children/heirs will not have any interest.
Modern View This rule is abolished in most jurisdictions. In the example above, A gets a life estate and his heirs have a contingent remainder in fee simple absolute.

The Doctrine of Worthier Title If a grantor creates a life estate in the grantee and then grants the remainder in fee simple to the grantor’s heirs, the remainder is construed as a reversion in fee simple absolute in the grantor.

1. Example: G grants “to A for life, remainder to G’s heirs.” A has a presently possessory life estate and G has a reversion in fee simple absolute, G’s heirs do not have any interest. This rule is only applied to inter vivos transfers. Modern view Most states treat “Worthier Title” as a presumption only, which is rebuttable by evidence of the grantor’s actual intent. Some states have abolished the doctrine.

Create New Group

Casebriefs is concerned with your security, please complete the following