LAW 515-001 – Property I

Fee Tail


A fee tail estate allows the grantee to posses the land for the remainder of his life, but limits him from selling, giving, or devising the right of possession after his death. Instead the title is automatically inherited by the grantee's next lineal descendant. As it relies on having lineal descendants, at some point the law presumes that one will not be available and the estate will naturally end.

A fee tail is communicated by the words of limitation "and the heirs of his body."

Like fee simple, fee tail does not convey any legally recognizable interest to the grantee's heirs.

Fee tails have been abolished in almost all states. In most states, any fee tail simply becomes a fee simple.