Re: Fee simple title - Posted by David Butler
Posted by David Butler on October 27, 2002 at 12:16:37:
No… but a “fee estate” (aka fee simple estate, fee simple interest, or estate of inheritance) is the best and most inclusive type of ownership in real estate.
In its absolute sense (fee simple absolute), fee simple title generally means that the property owner owns the entire “bundle of rights” in real property - an estate limited to a person, his heirs and assigns, absolutely - without limitation or condition, with unconditional power of dispostion during his life, with such power descending to his heirs or legal representatives upon his death, even if intestate.
One of these rights of course, is his right to place liens on the property, grant easements or licenses, prohibit trespass, grant lease-hold estates or similar, and control usage… subject generally only to the “police powers” of the state and public policy.
Having a fee simple estate is what allows a property owner to have liens and encumbrances on the property in the first place - and his ownership of the property also makes it attractive for judgement creditors to place judgement liens on it!
Be aware too that fee-simple estates can have several limitations outside of government “police-powers”… these are commonly known as “defeasible” fee estates, or types of fee grants that may be defeated by the happening of a stipulated event (CC&R’s are types of defeasible fee-grants in many instances).
A fee-simple “conditional” estate for example, is a type of transfer in which the grantor conveys fee title, on condition that something else be done, or not be done. This might be a sale of property for the exclusive use as a site for religious worship; or forever barred from the sale or consumption of alchohol; etc… or fee simple "determinable, which is created by a conveyance that contains a provision for automatic expiration of estate on occurrence of a stated event… such as a “life-estate”, which general grants a person a fee simple estate during his life-time, but cuts off his ability to bequeath it to heirs.
Like most things, even ownership of property is not always absolute… even when it is
Hope this helps offer some clarification though!
David P. Butler