Difference between estate and interest in land

Estate in land

An estate in land is a possessory interest in real property. It is a sort of personal property that includes land ownership, rental, and other arrangements that provide people the right to utilize land.

This is separate from territorial sovereignty, which includes the right to government and taxation.

This should be distinguished from an “estate” as used in reference to a plot of land and “estate” as used to refer to property in general.

Because different parties may have distinct interests in the same real property, the rights and interests associated with an estate in land may be conceptually regarded as a “bundle of rights” in property law.

Types of the estate in land

Land estates can be classified into four types:

  • Free hold Estates
  • Leasehold Estates
  • Concurrent Estates
  • Equitable Estates

Free hold Estates

Freehold estates are rights to conveyable exclusive possession and use that are immobile and have an indefinite existence.

  • Fee simple: Fee simple estate refers to the power of the owner to possess the entire property without any restriction on the way it can be used. The possessor of a (fee simple) estate in land enjoys all the rights and benefits included in a fee simple estate.
  • Fee simple absolute: An absolute fee simple estate has no limitations on its exercise.
  • Defeasible Estate: This is an estate in real property for which the holder of a claim to feudal tenure may gain exclusive possession and enjoyment of the estate.

This is a process that involves securing the right to possess and use the land, which can be transferred to other parties by contract or by express deed, while limiting its enjoyment in certain ways.

  • Finite Estate: They are estates in land that come with the limitation that they will end at some finite time, usually after a specified number of years.
  • Life Estate: This is the right of the owner to use and enjoy an estate in real property until death.
  • Fee tail: Inheritance rights that are inalienable for the duration of the family line.

Leasehold estates

Possession and usage rights but no ownership. This privilege is granted to the lessee by the lessor (owner/landlord) (tenant).

Leasehold estates are classified into four types:

  • Estate for many years (a term of year absolute or tenancy for years): Lease of any length with a set start and end date
  • Periodic estate (periodic tenancy): Automatic lease renewal (month to month, week to week)
  • Estate at will (tenancy at will): Leasehold for an indefinite amount of time. It lasts as long as both people want it to. Termination can be unilateral (any party can end the agreement at any time) or through operation of law.
  • Sufferance tenancy: Created when a tenant stays after his or her lease expires and becomes a holdover tenant; converts to a holdover tenancy upon landlord acceptance.

Leases are classified as follows:

  • Gross lease
  • Percentage lease
  • Net lease

Concurrent Estates

Concurrent estates are those that are owned or possessed by two or more individuals at the same time.

  • Tenancy with entirety: A person has a right of the entire land with no encumbrances on the estate.

Concurrent estates are different from feudal estates, which are possessed by one person at a time exclusively (rather than concurrently) and do not end until death.

  • Joint tenancy: A type of concurrent estate in which co-owners have a right of survivorship, which means that if one owner dies, that owner’s interest in the property will pass by operation of law to the surviving owner or owners, avoiding probate.
  • Tenancy in common: A type of concurrent estate in which each owner, known as a tenant in common, is legally considered to own separate and distinct shares of the same property. By default, all co-owners own equal shares, but the magnitude of their interests may change.
  • Statutory estates: They are created by law
  • Community property: Community property (US), also known as Community of Property (South Africa), is a marital property system that originated in civil law jurisdictions but is now prevalent in several common law jurisdictions.
  • Homestead: Protection from creditor claims
  • Curtesy: Interest a husband has in his wife’s property
  • Dower: interest a wife has in her husband’s property

Equitable Estates

Equitable estates are those that are unclaimed by the legal owner.

  • Future interests: Are interests in real or personal property, a gift or trust, or other things in which the right to possession or enjoyment is in the future rather than the present.
  • Incorporeal interests: Are those that cannot be physically possessed because they consist of a specific user’s rights or the right to enforce a usage agreement.
  • Liens: A lien is security interest in the property of another person. A lien may be created by statute, by contract, or by using the debtor’s personal property as security.

Difference between estate and interest in land

An “estate in land” is the amount and type of interest in real property that an individual has. While an estate in land grants the right to possess the property, an interest, such as an easement, only grants the right to use the land.

For example, an individual may own a fee simple estate in her land. This would mean that she is the owner of all land contained in the completeness and has the right to use it as she pleases, so long as she abides by laws regulating such use.

On the other hand, another individual may have an easement of way over that land. This would mean that he has no ownership rights to the property. Rather, he has a right to walk on those specific parts of that property at any given time.

How Estate in land is different from ownership

You can have an estate in land if you are not the owner of a piece of property but plan to become one or have an interest in it in the future.

One common example is in estate planning, where many beneficiaries of a will all receive partial interests in a piece of property. Sometimes the will testator (writer) desires for the property to be divided into sections for each recipient.

At times, they want their beneficiaries to be able to use the land in a variety of ways. In any case, this produces a situation in which people have an interest in a piece of real estate but do not truly own it.

You can also have an estate in land if you reside in a structure built on a piece of land and do not own the parcel of land itself, but have purchased the structure.

The best example is condominium ownership. Although condo owners may not own a single piece of actual land, they do have air rights to their specific unit and have purchased an interest in the land beneath.

Also, their estate in land determines that they have ownership rights to the structure as well as shared access to – and possibly ownership of – the actual land on which it is built.

What kinds of rights does a land in estate include?

In terms of the depth and breadth of rights it defines, a land estate can be quite significant. It establishes people’s rights to enter a piece of property, use it for a specific purpose, live on it, claim ownership, and transfer ownership to another party. These rights can come easy or in varying degrees depending on the decedent’s estate planning and will.

How to make sure your estate is clear

If you want to be certain that your estate is clear – that is, that no one’s rights remain affected by your passing – consider having an attorney prepare a valid will.

This may help minimize the impact of any remaining questions about an item or two in the will, which could lead to unforeseen complications after death.


What is the meaning of an estate in land?

To own something is to have an interest or claim to that thing. This can be in personal property or land and can either be exclusively owned or shared with others. People who own an estate in land have the right to possess, use, and even sell it.

How does one acquire a land in estate?

Under certain conditions, a person may acquire an estate in land through tort, contract, intestate succession (the default system for transferring property when someone dies without a valid will), or even from the government.

Can you hold property on trust for yourself?

Typically, the owners hold the property in trust for themselves (whether in equal or unequal portions), but they may also hold a share in trust for someone else.

As a result, if you do not want to hold the property in equal portions, you must select a ‘tenancy in common.’

What are the legal estates in land?

Land has two legal estates: ‘fee simple absolute in possession’ (or freehold) and ‘term of years absolute’ (or leasehold).

What are the types of estate?

  • Freehold estates are rights to conveyable exclusive possession and use that are immobile and have an indefinite duration.
  • Leasehold estates: possession and usage rights but not ownership.
  • Concurrent estates are those that are owned or possessed by two or more people at the same time.

What does estate mean in law?

A person’s estate is legally defined as an individual’s total assets less any obligations. In general, an individual drafts a will that describes the testator’s intentions for the disposal of their estate upon death. A beneficiary is a person who inherits assets through inheritance.

Is a license an estate in land?

Importantly, a license does not provide any security of tenure, making a licensee’s position insecure. A lease (or tenancy, as the terms are interchangeable) is much more than a contractual permission; it is an estate in land.

What’s a freehold estate?

A sort of real estate is a freehold estate. It comes with indefinite ownership, which means you may essentially pass it down in perpetuity. There are three main types of freehold estates, and each one requires you to meet certain conditions in order to keep ownership in the future.

Which estate is always inheritable?

The fee simple absolute is inheritable, but not the life estate.

A fee simple absolute is the most extensive interest in real property that an individual can own because it is completely limited to the individual and his heirs, assigns in perpetuity, and is not subject to any limitations or conditions.

What is an estate property law?

Estate law is a branch of property law that covers the administration of an individual’s estate. This involves overseeing how that person’s property is managed both throughout their lifetime and after they die or become incompetent.

What is a fee simple estate?

A property interest. Land owned in fee simple is totally owned, with no restrictions or obligations. Absolute estate is a sort of infinite estate.

A fee simple is typically produced when a deed conveys land with no stipulations, typically using language such as “to John Doe” or “to John Doe and his heirs.”

What are interests in land?

Any estate, interest, or charge in or over land is referred to as a ‘interest in land.’ The following have been ruled to be covered by the requirement requiring writing.

An agreement to assign a lease, even if it is informal, such as a yearly tenancy; an agreement to establish an

What is conventional life estate?

A traditional life estate gives someone possession and limited ownership of an asset for as long as they live. When the individual who holds the life estate, known as the life tenant, dies, ownership of the asset passes to another identified person, known as the remainderman.

Who legally owns a property?

The legal owner of a property is the person who owns the legal title to the land, whereas the beneficial owner is the person who is entitled to the property’s benefits.

What is estate interest?

In property law, an estate is a real estate interest that can range from total dominion and control to bare possession.

An estate interest in real property is a measure of the degree to which an item is owned; the form of ownership deals with the specific person or individuals who own it.)

What is a fee simple absolute?

A fee simple absolute is the most extensive interest in real property that an individual can own because it is completely limited to the individual and his heirs, assigns in perpetuity, and is not subject to any limitations or conditions.

What is estate of a deceased person?

An estate of a deceased person (or testate estate) refers to the assets owned by a deceased individual at the time of their death, which are then transferred according to the terms of their will, if any.

What are the rights of a landowner?

The owner of real property has certain rights, or interests in the property. These range from a right to possess, use and enjoy their property, which is called ‘usufruct,’ and also to transfer or sell their property at any time.

Which estate covers assets only?

A life estate covers assets only, although it can be converted into an ownership interest by those who have this right. Absent this change, the holder is called a life tenant.

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