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MA Real Estate

Estates

TermDefinition
Estate The legal interest, rights and duration of these rights that a party has in real property. (quantity of ownership)
Freehold Estate Last for an infinite period of time (lifetime or longer). The owner possesses title and can pass estate on to heirs.
Non-Freehold Estate Lasts for a definite period of time (less than a lifetime) and the owner does not have title to the realty. For example, a rental agreement.
Concurrent Estate More than one person has title.
Severalty Title is held by one individual (a person or corporation).
Fee Simple Absolute The highest form of estate possible. The owner has all the rights possible and the estate is limited only by the rights of others/government. Also known as fee or fee simple.
Fee Simple See Fee Simple Absolute
Fee Simple Determinable A fee simple title that ends upon the happening of a specific condition that can be determined from the deed an automatically ends when that specific condition takes place.
Fee Simple Defeasible A fee simple estate subject to a specific condition. There are two types: Fee Simple Determinable and Fee Upon Condition Subsequent.
Fee Simple on Condition Subsequent A condition in an estate where the duration cannot be determined from language in the deed but depends on the grantor's choice to end the estate. not automatic - requires action by the grantor.
Fee Upon Condition Subsequent A fee simple title that ends upon the occurrence of a certain condition. The original grantor must take action to regain title - not automatic.
Life Estate An estate given by the grantor (sellor) to the grantee (buyer) for life. Upon the death of the grantee, the property passes on to a third party known as a remainderman.
Remainderman A party holding a future interest as the third party to a life estate.
Reversionary Rights The rights remaining with the grantor when less than fee simple is transferred to a grantee. (ex., life estate)
Homestead A life estate in real estate occupied as the family home (land that is owned and used as the family home). It protects against certain creditors (personal debt such as credit cards). It does not protect against taxes, mortgagees or mechanic's liens.
Tenancy by the Entirety Restricted to husbands and wives (spouses). Neither can sell interest without signature of the other. Right of survivorship.
Joint Tenancy Form of ownership where two or more persons own the same land with right of survivorship. They have equal interests, righst of possession that begin at same time and exist for same duration.
Tenancy in Common Form of ownership when two or more persons have separate interests or shares in a parcel of property with no right of survivorship.
Tenancy in Partnership Form of business ownership. Ownership by a partnership as an entity and subject to the terms of the partnership, regards rights of the partners.
Reversionary Estate The estate left with the grantor when the estate being transferred is less than the estate previously received.
Right of Survivorship The right in joint tenancy and tenancy by entirety, for title to pass to the surviving joint tenant(s) upon the death of one of the owners.
Easement An interest one party (dominant estate) has to use the property of another (servient estate) as in a right of way.
Easement Appurtenant The right one property owner (dominant estate) has in the property of another (servient estate) that passes forward with the land. for example, a common driveway or the right of lot A property owner to cross lot B to access a lake.
Easement by Necessity Easement created by the courts and required by need. Must have common grantor for dominant and servient estates. for example, right of way to road when property is land locked.
Easement by Prescription Easement created by open notorious and continuous use (20 years in Massachusetts) similar to acuirig title by adverse possession.
Easement in Gross An easement that does not pass with the land and has no dominant estate. for example a utility easement.
Commercial Easement in Gross An easement that is of a business or commercial nature; not personal. for example, a utility line.
Three ways an easement is created are... By deed; By Prescription; By Necessity
License A use that is permitted by an owner of a piece of property for a specific purppose, such as permission to fish, hunt or camp. Also a certification by the state to sell real estate.
Dower The right of the wife to share of her husband's estate at the time of his death. In Massachusetts dower rights are one third of the husband's estate at the time of death.
Curtesy The right of the husband to share of his wife's estate at the time of her death. In Massachusetts curtesy rights are one third of the wife's estate at the time of her death.
Encroachment When any structure, addition, or attached fixture intrudes on the property of another.
Restrictive Covenant In a deed is a prohibited use or a requirement that must be followed.
Encumbrance Anything that lessens the value of a parcel of property; including liens and any encroachment.
Lien A right or interest that one party has in the property of another as security for a debt. (A financial encumbrance; a mortgage).
Littoral Rights Rights of land owners abutting oceans of standing bodies of water.
Riparian Rights Rights associated with property that abuts a flowing body of water such as rivers and streams.
Servient Estate Property over which another piece of property (dominant estate) has a right of way.
Dominant Estate An estate that derives benefit from another estate (servient estate) as in an easement.
Personal Easement in Gross An easement of a personal nature. for example X has the right to corss Y's property for access.
Severalty When title to property is held by one individual.
Water Rights The rights a property owner has in regards to water within or abutting property owned. Includes sub-surface water and surface water. Rights in flowing bodies of wather are riparian and rights to standing bodies of water are littoral.
Created by: mkenziemay