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Fee simple title is one that gives complete land ownership to the potential buyer. The advantages include complete land ownership-meaning that the buyer has complete control of activities and/or income generated from the property, there is no ground rent required payable annually and upon resale there is a rise in property value. The disadvantages include the property being liable to taxation, police power, escheat-ability of the state to recover land after the demise of the property owner and compulsory purchase.
The life estate is a title which transfers property upon the person’s death. The advantages are that this title helps in estate planning and the property owner enjoys income that emerges from the land. The disadvantages are that the land is liable to probate-this is administering of property of the deceased who owned the property. Once the life estate title is signed, it is irrevocable.
Fee simple defeasible is a title where a person holds fee simple title upon certain conditions. The advantage is that the land owner can recover property if there is breach in the contract. The disadvantage is that the value of the property is reduced due to the limitations. A potential buyer would not be welcome to the various conditions hence reduction in property value.
I would use life estate as I would be able to enjoy income generated from the property while I am alive and still be able to transfer title to the intended heir in the time of my demise (Twomey 2010: 91). It would reduce the property value due to the existence of limitations in the agreement and that the potential buyer has no complete ownership of property.
The most common practice is the use of written contracts that are signed and countersigned by lawyers meaning serious legal repercussions in case of a breach.
(a) What is the duration of ownership of various titles?
What are the types of fee simple?