Legal Dictionary

fee simple determinable

Definition of fee simple determinable


fee simple determinable (plural fee simples determinable)

  1. (law) A defeasible fee created with clear durational language expressing a condition (e.g. "so long as", "until", "while") which causes ownership of a property to revert to the grantor upon the occurrence of that condition.

    * Example: Joe gives Mike an estate in land "so long as no alcohol is brought onto the property"; this creates a fee simple determinable - if alcohol is brought onto the property, ownership of the land automatically reverts to Joe.

Related terms

Further reading

A fee simple determinable is an estate that will end automatically if the stated condition occurs. The interest will revert to the grantor or the heirs of the grantor. A possibility of reverter follows a fees simple determinable. Durational language such as "to A as long as the property is used for a park" creates a fee simple determinable and a possibility of reverter.

Some jurisdictions in the United States have abolished this interest. For example, Kentucky abolished the fee simple determinable and possibility of reverter by statute in 1960. An attempt to create such an interest is construed as a fee simple subject to condition subsequent (see below), and a person who would have possibility of reverter at common law will instead have a right of entry.

A fee simple determinable does not violate the rule against perpetuities, since the interest in real property reverts to the grantor or his heirs, who are measuring lives.


  1. Wiktionary. Published under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.


1.     quorum
2.     scienter
3.     adjudication order
4.     AORO
5.     lex patriae
6.     Miranda warning
7.     appellant
8.     lex causae
9.     stare decisis
10.     lex situs