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Estate in Reversion: Definition & Laws

Instructor: Tisha Collins Batis

Tisha is a licensed real estate agent in Texas. She holds bachelor's in legal studies and a master's degree in criminal justice.

This lesson will define reversion in real estate and discuss laws about reversion. Examples of estates in reversion will be provided to give the reader a strong grasp of the term.

Introduction

Briana has a house out in the country. It sits on several acres and has mature trees and plenty of room to raise a family. Right now, Briana lives in the city due to her career. The house is paid for and she would love to live in it, but it just isn't the right time for her to do so. Her grandmother is elderly and experiencing some health issues. She tells Briana that she wants to live in the house in the country because it is quiet and reminds her of her youth. It isn't likely that she will live much longer, and Briana wants to allow her grandmother to live in the house until she passes away. There is some conflict in Briana's family, and she doesn't want trouble from any of her relatives. Is there a way she can let her grandmother live in the house until her grandmother passes away, then be able to take possession of it immediately?

Definition

An estate in reversion is an interesting law in real estate. A 'reversion' is a future interest that an individual has in a piece of property even after he or she has conveyed that property, in a lesser estate, to another individual. Once the lesser estate has expired or ended, the property will return to the original individual. While the estate has been conveyed to someone else, the owner doesn't enjoy possession or use of the property. When the estate reverts back to the owner, they may enjoy possession once again if they so desire.

Reversion: recycling at its best
recycle sign

Examples

Judy has been hard at work with her attorney, drafting her last will and testament. She really wants her home and land to go to her grandson, Patrick. Right now, she has a disabled sister who lives with her. Judy doesn't want her sister to have to move out of the home if Judy passes away first. Instead, Judy would like for her sister to stay in the home until she either passes away or has to move into an assisted living facility. Her attorney explains that she can state in her will that Patrick will inherit the house, but that her sister can live in the home until she either passes away or has to move into a nursing home. Judy asks her attorney to draft her will this way, so she will know her sister is taken care of and Patrick will eventually inherit her property. This is one example of an estate in reversion.

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