The primary classification of estates is into "estates of freehold," or "freehold estates," and "estates less than freehold." Freehold estates, the distinctive characteristic of which is that the period of their duration is not positively ascertained, obtain the name of "freehold" from the fact that the typical holding by a free man under the feudal system, a "free tenement," as it was called, was always associated with a right in the land enduring for such a period of uncertain termination.8

Freehold estates are divided into "estates of inheritance," which pass to the owner's heirs, and "estates not of inheritance." Estates of inheritance are such as pass to collateral as well as lineal heirs, these being termed "estates in fee simple," or are such as pass only to lineal heirs, termed "estates tail," these latter being however no longer existent in many of the states. Freehold estates not of inheritance are either estates for the life of the owner (the tenant), these being called simply "estates for life," or they may be for the life of another than the owner, termed "estates pur auter vie." Life estates may be created either by voluntary act, in which case they are known as "conventional" life estates, or in certain cases by act of the law, being then termed "legal" life estates. Legal life estates, as recognized at common law, are "tenancy in tail after possibility of issue extinct," the estate of "dower," that of "curtesy," and what may be termed the "husband's estate during coverture."9

7. Post Sec.Sec. 26, 148.

8. Litt. Sec. 57; Co. Litt. 43b; Challis, Real Prop. 6; Digby, Hist. Real Prop. 160.

9. An estate for life is some times called an estate of freehold, or the freehold, as distinguished from the inheritance. Leake, Prop. in Land, 43, citing Litt. Sec. 57. "The word 'freehold' is now generally used to denote an es tate for life, in opposition to an

Estates less than freehold include primarily estates for a fixed period, the termination of which is capable of ascertainment from the beginning, called "estates for years." With these estates are also classed what are called tenancies "at will," estates or tenancies "from year to year," which are a development of tenancies at will, and "tenancies by sufferance," which are not estates, and arise merely from the wrongful continuance of occupation by a tenant after his right has expired. Estates less than freehold are also, as before stated, sometimes called "leasehold" estates or interests, and sometimes "chattels real."

These various estates, thus classified with reference to their quantum or duration, may be tabulated as follows:

I. Freehold estates.

A. Estates of inheritance.

(1) Fee simple.

(2) Fee tail.

B. Estates not of inheritance (life estates).

(1) Conventional life estates.

(a) Estates for life of the tenant.

(b) Estates pur auter vie.

(2) Legal life estates.

(a) Tenancy in tail after possibility of issue extinct.

(b) Dower.

(c) Curtesy.

(d) Estate during coverture.

II. Estates less than freehold (leasehold estates, chattels real).

A. Estates for years.

B. Tenancy at will.

C. Tenancy from year to year.

D. Tenancy by sufferance.

Estate of inheritance. Perhaps, in the old law, it meant rather the latter than the former. * * * The word 'freehold' always imported the whole estate of the feudatory, but varied as that varied." Butler's notes to Co Litt. 266b.