Legal Dictionary

springing executory interest

Definition of springing executory interest


springing executory interest (plural springing executory interests)

  1. (law) An interest in an estate in land created by the conditions of a grant wherein the grantor cuts short the grantor's own interest in the property in favor of the grantee, contingent upon the occurrence of a specific condition.

    Example: Joe gives land "to Harry, if Harry graduates from law school". Harry has an springing executory interest because his graduation from law school directly divests Joe of ownership.

Related terms

Further reading

A springing executory interest cuts short the [grantor]] of the property. For example, if O conveys property "To A, if and when he marries"; here, A has a springing executory interest, and O has a fee simple subject to this springing executory interest.

Suppose B is 15 years old.

  • Example: "O grants Blackacre to A for life, then to B if B reaches the age of 25 years."
  • Analysis (O): O has a reversion (see above), since A might die before B reaches 25.
  • Analysis (A): A has a life estate.
  • Analysis (B): B has an executory interest, because his interest does not vest until he reaches 25, a condition that is unrelated to the expiration of A's interest. If A lives until B is 25, B's interest will vest absolutely. If not, the interest is springing, because when B reaches 25 possession of Blackacre will "spring" from the grantor O, who will have taken possession when A died.


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


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