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Fee simple

Fee simple, also known as fee simple absolute, is a term of art in common law. It depicts the largest estate of inheritance anyone can own in real property.

According to William Blackstone, fee simple is the estate in land which a person has when the lands are given to him and his heirs, absolutely, without any end or limit put to his estate. Land held in fee simple can be conveyed to whomever its owner pleases; it can be mortgaged or put up as security as well. No rent or similar obligations are due from the owner of property in fee simple.

Fee simple can be contrasted with a life estate, which is an interest in lands that terminates upon the owner's death, and reverts to the grantor or the grantor's heirs[?] according to the terms of the instrument. It also was formerly contrasted with fee tail, traditionally created by the words of grant "to N. and the heirs of his body"; under fee tail, the owner could not alienate the property, which was supposed to be passed on to the direct descendants of the owner.



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