This section is from the book "The Law Of Real Property and Other Interests In Land", by Herbert Thorn Dike Tiffany. Also available from Amazon: A Treatise on the Modern Law of Real Property and Other Interests in Land .
If an executory limitation fails for any reason to take effect, either because originally invalid, because the objects thereof never come into existence, or for other reasons, the preceding estate will, according to the decisions in this country, continue in the first taker, according to its original limitation, unless a contrary intention on the part of the testator appear.47 In England, how43. Jones v. Westcomb, 1 Eq. Cas. Abr. 245, pl. 10; Frogmorton v. Holyday, 3 Burrows, 1618; Meadows v. Parry, 1 Ves. & B. 123.
44. Darrell v. Molesworth, 2 Vern. 378. In re Miller's Will, 161 N. Y. 71, 55 N. E. 385.
45. Doo v. Brabant, 4 Term Rep. 706; Williams v. Chitty, 5 Ves. 544; Carpenter v. Heard, 14 Pick. (Mass.) 449; Savage v. Burnham, 17 N. Y. 561. But see United States Trust Co. of New York v. Hogencamp, 191 N. Y. 281, 84 N.
E. 74; criticized 8 Columbia Law Rev. at p. 490.
46. McGreevy v. McC.rath, 152 Mass. 24, 25 N. E. 29.
47. Farnam v. Farnam, 83 Conn. 369, 77 Atl. 70; Starr v. Starr Methodist Church, 112 Md. 171, 76 Atl. 595; Meriam v. Simonds, 121 Mass. 198; First Universalist Soc. of North Adams v. Boland. 155 Mass. 171, 15 L. R. A. 231, 29 N. E. 524; Sullivan v. Garesche, 229 Mo. 496, 129 S. W. 949; Drummond's Ex'rs v. DrumReal Property.
[ Sec. 176 ever, it has been decided that the happening of the contingency named will terminate the prior estate, though the limitation over cannot take effect, unless its failure to take effect is by reason of invalidity on the ground of remoteness.48
An estate subject to an executory devise to take effect on a future event is, it seems, on the happening of that event, defeated only to the extent of the executory interest. Thus, in the case of a devise to A in fee simple with a limitation over to B for life on a certain contingency, A is entitled to the property, rather than the heirs of the testator, after the expiration of the life estate in B.49