ESTATE TAIL - Steven J. Coker
From: Steven J. Coker
Date: September 26, 1998

Extracted From:
  by John Bouvier

TAIL. An estate tail is an estate of inheritance, to a man or a woman and his or
her heirs of his or her body, or heirs of his body of a particular description,
or to several persons and the heirs of their bodies, or the heirs generally or
specially of the body or bodies of one person, or several bodies....
   Estates tail, as qualified in their limitation and extent, are of several
sorts. They have different denominations, according to the circumstances under
which, or the persons to whom they are limited. They are usually divided into
estates tail general or special. 
   But they may be more advantageously arranged under the following classes. 

   1. As to the extent of the degree to which the estates may descend, they are,

      1st, general;
      2d, qualified. 

   2. As to the sex of the person who may succeed, they are,

      1st. General, as extending to males or females of the body, without

      2d. Special, as admitting only one sex to the succession, and excluding
the other sex. 

   3. As to the person by whom or by whose body those heirs are to be begotten,
they are either,

      1st. General, as to all the heirs of the body of a man or woman.

      2d. Special, as to the heirs of the body of a man or woman begotten by a
particular person, or to the heirs of the two bodies of a man and woman. On the
several species of estates tail noticed under this division, it may be observed,
that the same estate may at the same time, be general in one respect; as, for
example, to all the heirs of the body in whatever degree they are related; and
may be, special in another respect, as that these heirs shall be males, &c....

   The law relating to entails is diversified in the several states. In Indiana
and Louisiana they never existed they are unknown in Illinois and Vermont. In
Ohio, Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, and New York, estates tail are converted
into estates in fee simple by statute; and they may be barred by a simple
conveyance in Pennsylvania. In Alabama, Missouri, Mississippi, New Jersey,
Connecticut and North Carolina, they have been modified, and in Georgia, they
have been abolished without reservation....

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