(a) Legal, or
We now come to a new principle upon which to classify estates, namely, their legal or equitable character. So far our attention has been occupied with legal interests, though equitable estates have been mentioned in treating of curtesy,1 dower,2 homestead,3 and mortgages.4 It will now be seen that the different estates, as to quantity and quality, may any of them be held by a title which is recognized only in courts of equity.5 And some estates are possible tinder equitable limitations which cannot be created at common law; these are estates which defeat a preceding estate, or spring into existence without a preceding freehold to support them.6 Estates which are recognized by the common law are called "legal estates." Estates which owe their existence to courts of equity are called "equitable estates."
1 Ante, p. 73. 2 Ante, p. 83. 3 Ante, p. 112. 4 Ante, p. Iso.
5 On the whole subject of this chapter, see Fetter, Eq. c 8. 6 See ante, p. 177, note 39, and post, pp. 2S4, 299.