7. Stokes. In 1980, Alice became the owner of the strip by adverse possession. Once she gained title by adverse possession, her title was of the same quality, and subject to the same rules, as if she had gotten title by deed. Therefore, she could not convey that title to anyone else except by compliance with the Statute of Frauds. Her oral “grant” to Orlando was ineffective because it was not in writing as required by the Statute of Frauds. Therefore, Alice owned the strip at her death, and it passed to Stokes.
8. Barbara. The gift “to Abel and his heirs” does not mean “to Abel for life then to his heirs.” Instead, “to Abel and his heirs” means “to Abel in fee simple.” Therefore, Abel had the right to do whatever he wished with the property, and his deed of it to Barbara was effective. Thus when Abel died, he had no interest in Blackacre to leave to his son and heir.
9. Yes. The original grant from O to A was a fee simple determinable. We know this because of the phrase “so long as. . .,” and the word “revert.” Therefore, after the conveyance, O was left with a possibility of reverter. When O died, his possibility of reverter passed to his son S. When A purported to convey a fee simple absolute to B, he really conveyed only a fee simple determinable subject to S’s possibility of reverter. When B began using the premises for the forbidden purpose in 1990, title automatically reverted to S, without S taking any formal action. Therefore, S remained the owner of the property in 2012, and is entitled to a judicial decree to that effect. (If more than 50 years passed after O’s original creation of the fee simple determinable, then S or his successors would lose their right to this decree, since they would be barred by the 50-year statute of limitations on possibilities of reverter.)
10. No. Now, the O-to-A conveyance established a fee simple subject to a condition subsequent. (The words “upon condition that” or “provided that,” when taken with a clause providing for re-entry, establish that a fee simple subject to condition subsequent, rather than a fee simple determinable, was created.) This left O (and, after his death, S) with a right of entry, not a possibility of reverter. By the statute of limitations, S was required to bring his suit for reentry within one year of B’s commencement of the illegal use, i.e., by 1991. When S did not do so, his right of entry was extinguished. So by comparing this question with the prior one, you can see the importance of distinguishing between a fee simple determinable and a fee simple subject to a condition subsequent.
11. Life estate per autre vie in C, remainder in fee simple in B. After the initial conveyance by O, A was a life tenant. In all states, a life tenant may convey the interest which he holds, or a lesser one (but not a greater one). Therefore, A was capable of conveying his life estate to C; once that conveyance took place, C had a life estate per autre vie (life estate measured by another person’s life), since C’s interest would end when A died, not when C died. B continued to hold the fee simple remainder that he got when O made the initial conveyance.