Base Fee

Legal Definition and Related Resources of Base Fee

Meaning of Base Fee

Sometimes called a conditional fee ; an estate that has some qualification attached to it and which determines when the qualification comes to an end. See Montgomery v Montgomery, 181 So. 92,236 Ala 161. An illustration of this is a grant to A, his heirs tenants of Black Acre; here A has a base fee in that the instant he or his heirs cease to be the tenants of Black Acre the fee is also determined. since such an estate can theoretically last forever, it is a fee; since it is debased by the qualification, it is a base fee. Thus, a base fee is the same as a qualified fee or a determinable fee. An interest which may continue forever, but is liable to be determined by some act or event circumscribing its continuance . Thus, where an owner donated land to a school district with a provision that it should be used for school purposes and should revert to the owner if the school should be discontinued or moved, such a donation was held to have created a base fee. See Williams v Kirby School district No. 32, 181 S. W.2d 488, 207 Ark. 458. A base fee will become enlarged into a fee simple absolute by the merger of the base fee with the remainder or reversion in fee.

Base Fee Alternative Definition

A fee which has a qualification annexed to it, and which must be determined whenever the annexed qualification requires. A grant to A. and his heirs, tenants of Dale, continues only while they are such tenants. 2 Bl. Comm. 109. The proprietor of such a fee has all the rights of the owner of a fee simple until his estate is determined. Plowd. 557; -.1 Washb. Real Prop. 62; 1 Prest. Est. 431; Co. Litt. lb. One of the peculiarities of a base or determinable fee is that it may become a fee simple absolute on the happening of any event which renders impossible the event or combination of events upon which such an estate is to end. It is the uncertainty of the event, and the possibility that the fee may not last forever, that renders a base or determinable estate a fee, and not merely a freehold.

Related Entries of Base Fee in the Encyclopedia of Law Project

Browse or run a search for Base Fee in the American Encyclopedia of Law, the Asian Encyclopedia of Law, the European Encyclopedia of Law, the UK Encyclopedia of Law or the Latin American and Spanish Encyclopedia of Law.

Base Fee in Historical Law

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Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms

Search for legal acronyms and/or abbreviations containing Base Fee in the Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms Dictionary.

Related Legal Terms

You might be also interested in these legal terms:

Mentioned in these terms

Conditional Fee, Determinable, Fee Simple, Qualified Estate.

What does Base Fee mean in American Law?

The definition of Base Fee in the law of the United States, as defined by the lexicographer Arthur Leff in his legal dictionary is:

Medievally, base tenure. Now used to describe an estate in fee, i.e., one that may last forever in the hands of the tenant and his heirs, but which may be terminated by the happening of some contingency. A conveyance “to A and his heirs so long as no liquor shall be drunk therein,” e.g., would be a “base fee,” i.e., it could, but need not, continue forever. All conditional fees and determinable fees are base fees.


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