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Legal Definition and Related Resources of Estate

Meaning of Estate

The degree, quantity, nature and extent of interest which a person has in real property is usually referred to as an estate and it varies from absolute ownership down to naked possession . Historically, the term has its origin in the feudal notion that has survived to the present that no one can be the absolute owner of land, save the crown , and that a person can only have an estate in land. The quantity or the duration of an estate in land is denoted by such terms as freehold which were of either inheritance , including an estate in fee simple , estates in tail and estates in frank marriage, or created by act of parties including estates in fee simple , pur autre vie or life estates. An estate such as dower and curtesy was also created by the operation of law. The quality of an estate depends upon whether it is absolute, determinable or conditional. An absolute estate is one in fee simple. A determinable estate is one that by the terms of limitation might terminate, such as a devise to the widow as long as she remained such a widow, so that the estate would terminate if she remarried. until her remarriage it is as perfect as a life estate . A conditional estate was one that had a condition attached to it and upon the condition being fulfilled it terminated, such as a lease with a proviso for re-entry upon non- payment of rent. An estate can also be contingent, that is, its creation can be conditional upon the happening of some event , such as a devise to A, with a proviso that should A die without leaving issue then upon A’s death , the inheritance is to go to B. Here B’s interest is a contingent remainder . The word has also come to signify not only the extent of interest in property but also the corpus or the property itself. Thus, one speaks of all my estate, his entire estate, etc. In this context, the term refers to every kind of property, real and personal .

Synonyms of Estate

(Hereditament), noun

  • bequest
  • birthright
  • devise
  • gift by succession
  • heritage
  • heritance
  • inheritance
  • legacy
  • patrimony
  • Associated Concepts: beneficial estate
  • charge against an estate
  • claim against an estate
  • distribution
  • estate tax
  • residue

(Property), noun

  • acres
  • ager
  • assets
  • assets and liabilities
  • belongings
  • chattels
  • chattels real
  • chose in action
  • collective assets
  • earthly possessions
  • effects
  • equity
  • freehold
  • goods
  • grounds
  • hereditament
  • holdings
  • intangible assets
  • interest in land
  • land and buildings
  • lands
  • liquid assets
  • material assets
  • material things which are owned
  • personalty
  • piece of landed property
  • possessio
  • possessions
  • real estate
  • realty
  • resources
  • right
  • title and interest in land
  • tangible assets
  • tangibles
  • tenement
  • territory
  • valuables
  • villa
  • Associated Concepts: absolute estate
  • conditional estate
  • defeasible estate
  • equitable estate
  • estate at sufferance
  • estate at will
  • estate by entirety
  • estate by purchase
  • estate for life
  • estate for years
  • estate from period to period
  • estate from year to year
  • estate in common
  • estate in expectancy
  • estate in land
  • estate in remainder
  • estate in reversion
  • estate lands
  • estate on a conditional limitation
  • estate pour autre vie
  • estate tail
  • estate upon a limitation
  • executory estate
  • feesimple estate
  • feetail estate
  • forfeiture of an estate
  • freehold
  • joint estate
  • landed estate
  • life estate
  • limited estate
  • qualified estate
  • vested estateforeign phrases: Post executionem status lex non patitur possibilitatem
  • After the execution of the estate the law suffers not a possibility

Related Entries of Estate in the Encyclopedia of Law Project

Browse or run a search for Estate 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.

Estate in Historical Law

You might be interested in the historical meaning of this term. Browse or search for Estate in Historical Law in the Encyclopedia of Law.

Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms

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

Related Legal Terms

You might be also interested in these legal terms:

Mentioned in these terms

Abstract Of Title, Acceleration, Administer, Administration, Administration, Letters Of, Administrator, Administratrix, , Ancestor, Annuity, Annuity Contract, Appointment, Power Of, Attorn, Bankruptcy, Base Fee, Between, Brother, Burden Of Proof, Capacity, Capita, Per, Caution, Cessionary Bankrupt, Charge, Charitable, Chattels, Class Gift, Cloud On Title, Condition Subsequent, Conditional Fee, Conservator, Contingent Remainder, Coparcener, Coparcenary, Copyhold, Covenant, Covenant Of Seisin, Covenant Running With The Land, Curtesy, Cy-prés, Defeasance, Demesne, Demise, Depreciation, Descent, Determinable, Devastavit, Devise, Devolve, Disinheritance, Distributive Share, Divest, Dividend, Double Possibility, Dower, Easement, Effects, Enfeoff, Enjoy, Entail, Equitable Adoption, Equitable Conversion, Equitable Estate, Equitable Interests, Equity Of Redemption, Escheat, Estate By Entirety, Estate For Life Or Life Estate, Estate For Years, Estate In Expectancy, Estate In Possession, Estate In Tail After Possibility Of Issue Extinct:, Estate Of Inheritance, Estates Pur Autre Vie, Executor, Executor De Son Tort, Executory Devise, Exist, Expenditure, Failure Of Issue, Falcidian Law, Fee Simple, , First Devisee, Flowage, Forced Heirs, Foreclosure, Fraud, Free Bench, Freehold, Gamekeeper, General Legacy, , Habendum, Heir, Heiress, Heirs Of The Body, Hereditament, , Immediate Descent, Impeachment Of Waste, Improvidence, In Fee Simple, Infeudation, Inheritance Tax, Innocent Conveyance, Insane Delusion, Interesse Termini, Intestate, Intestate Succession, Intruder, Issue, Joint Tenancy, Jointure, Landed, Lease, Leasehold, Legal Estate, Legal Representative, Legatory, Letters Of Administration, Liability, Life Estate, Life Tenant, Limitation, Livery Of Seisin, Living Trust, , Manor, Memorandum Decision, Mental Competency, Merger, Mineral Estate, Money, Multiple Listing, Muniments, , Natural Heir, Necessaries, Nephew, Nuncupative Will, Parcenary, Parish, Passive Trust, Patrimony, , Per Capita, Per Stirpes, Perdurable, Permanent Alimony, Plantation, Portion, Possibility Of Reverter, Power, Power Of Appointment, Presumption Of Advancement, Pretermitted Heir, Privies, Privity, Profit, Purchase, Qualified Estate, Re-entry, Proviso For, Real Certitude, Real Covenants, Real Estate, Real Property, Receiver, Recommend, Recovery, Recovery Statute, Related Taxpayer, Release, Remainder, Remainderman, Residence, Residuary Bequest, Residuary Devise, Residuary Legacy, Residue, Resulting Trust, Retainer, Reversion, Right Of Entry, Right Of First Publication, Satisfaction, Seisin, Separate Estate, Separate Property, Service, Rule In Shelley’s Case, Special Administrator, Specific Bequest, Sublease, Succession, Succession Duty, Superstitious Use, Surrender, , Tenancy, Tenancy By The Entirety, Tenancy In Common, Tenant, Tenant By The Curtesy, Tenant In Tail After Possibility Of Issue Extinct, Tenure, , Term Of Years, Testament, Testamentary Capacity, Tithes, Title, To Have And To Hold, Totten Trust, Trust, Trustee.

English Spanish Translation of Estate

Patrimonio, caudal hereditario

Find other English to Spanish translations from the Pocket Spanish English Legal Dictionary (print and online), the English to Spanish to English dictionaries (like Estate) and the Word reference legal translator.

Translate Real Estate from English to Spanish

Translation of Real Estate , with examples. More about fre
e online translation into Spanish of Bienes raíces and other legal terms is available here


This term is a noun.

Etimology of Estate

(You may find estate at the world legal encyclopedia and the etimology of more terms).

early 13c., “rank, standing, condition,” from Anglo-French astat, Old French estat “state, position, condition, health, status, legal estate” (13c., Modern French état), from Latin status “state or condition, position, place; social position of the aristocracy,” from PIE root *sta- “to stand, make or be firm.” For the unetymological e-, see e-. Sense of “property” is late 14c., from that of “worldly prosperity;” specific application to “landed property” (usually of large extent) is first recorded in American English 1620s. A native word for this was Middle English ethel (Old English æ_el) “ancestral land or estate, patrimony.” Meaning “collective assets of a dead person or debtor” is from 1830. The three estates (in Sweden and Aragon, four) conceived as orders in the body politic date from late 14c. In France, they are the clergy, nobles, and townsmen; in England, originally the clergy, barons, and commons, later Lords Spiritual, Lords Temporal, and commons. For Fourth Estate see four.


See Also

  • Law Dictionaries.
  • Equity; Servitude.
  • Estate in the American Legislation

    Definition of Estate provided by the Uniform Probate Code:

    Includes the property of the decedent, trust, or other person whose affairs are subject to this [code] as originally constituted and as it exists from time to time during administration.

    English Legal System: Estate

    In the context of the English law, A Dictionary of Law provides the following legal concept of Estate :

    1. (in land law) The character and duration of a person’s ownership of land. For example, an estate in fee simple confers effectively absolute ownership; an estate for a term of years (called leasehold) or for life are lesser estates. Under the Law of Property Act 1925 only a *fee simple absolute in possession (called freehold) and a *term of years absolute can exist as legal estates in land. All other forms of ownership, e.g. an estate for life or an estate in fee simple coming into effect only on someone’s death, are equitable only.

    2. (in revenue law)The aggregate of all the property to which a person is beneficially entitled. Excluded property, which includes most reversionary interests and certain foreign matters, is not taken into account for the death charge (See inheritance tax).

    Estate Subsisting At Law


    See Also

    • See legal estate.

    United States Tax Concept of Estate

    The entire group of assets owned by an individual at the time of his or her death. The estate includes all funds, personal effects, interests in business enterprises, titles to property, real estate, chattels, and evidences of ownership such as stocks, bonds and mortgages owned, notes receivable, etc.

    Meaning of Estate in the U.S. Legal System

    Definition of Estate published by the National Association for Court Management: An estate consists of personal property (car, household items, and other tangible items), real property, and intangible property, such as stock certificates and bank accounts, owned in the individual name of a person at the time of the persons death. It does not include life insurance proceeds unless the estate was made the beneficiary) or other assets that pass outside the estate (like joint tenancy asset).

    Concept of Estate in the context of Real Property

    Alternatives definitions of Estate: (1) The interest or nature of the interest which one has in property, such as a life estate, the estate of a deceased, real estate, etc. (2) A large house with substantial grounds surrounding it, giving the connotation of belonging to a wealthy person.

    Concept of Estate in the context of Real Property

    Alternatives definitions of Estate: (1) The interest or nature of the interest which one has in property, such as a life estate, the estate of a deceased, real estate, etc. (2) A large house with substantial grounds surrounding it, giving the connotation of belonging to a wealthy person.

    Meaning of Estate in the Past

    In Latin, it is called status, because it signifies the condition or-circumstances in which the owner stands with regard to his property..[1]


    Notes and References

    1. Partialy, this information about estate is based on the Bouvier´s Law Dictionary, 1848 edition. There is a list of terms of the Bouvier´s Law Dictionary, including estate.

    See Also


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