What Is A Determinable Fee Simple 39
Extracts from Encyclopedia of Real Estate Expressions
1. In English law, for 'determinable fee estate' see determinable fee simple. 2. (US) A determinable fee estate is a claim in land that is granted to a person and his heirs, but subject to a qualification that the duration of the estate must end upon the occurrence of an event that may, or may not, happen. A fee held for as long as the property is used for a particular purpose. As an example, land is given as long a it is used as a school. Or, as long as the holder maintains a certain status, e.g. remains single. In the latter instance, if the person dies unmarried, the fee is automatically enlarged into a fee simple. "An estate which may last for life is a fee. If it may end on the happening of a merely possible event, it is a determinable, or qualified fee (First Universalist Society of North Adams v. Boland, 15 Mass 171, 29 NE 524, 15 LRA 231 (1892))", Reichard v. Chicago, 231 Iowa 563, 1 NW.2 d 720, 727 (1942) (Donehue v. Nilges, 364 Mo 705, 266 SW.2 d 553, 45 ALR2d 1150 (1954)). determinable fee simple
may be identified from a life interest as a determinable fee estate may last forever, whereas the latter will come to an end.
It may be distinguished from conditional fee estate as the person entitled to the subsequent estate must re-enter and occupy, whereas the 'determinable fee estate' automatically returns to the grantor or the person assigned to take the estate if the determined event occurs. 2 Bl Comm 155
In some jurisdictions, the terms 'determinable fee', 'base fee' and 'qualified fee' are used synonymously for any fee that expires on the occurrence of a specified event (4 Kent's Comm 9; Lehigh Valley R.R. Co. v. Chapman, 35 NJ 177, 171 A. 2d 653, 657 (1961)). Also called an 'estate on limitation' or 'limited fee'.