In property law of the United Kingdom and the United States and other common law countries, a remainder is a future interest given to a person (who is referred to as the transferee or remainderman) that is capable of becoming possessory upon the natural end of a prior estate created by the same instrument. Thus, the prior estate must be one that is capable of ending naturally, for example upon the expiration of a term of years or the death of a life tenant. A future interest following a fee simple absolute cannot be a remainder because of the preceding infinite duration.
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|Part of the common law series|
|Estates in land|
|Future use control|
|Other common law areas|
Higher category: Law and Common law
For example, a person, D, gives ("conveys") a piece of real property called Blackacre "to A for life, and then to B and her heirs". A receives a life estate in Blackacre and B holds a remainder, which can become possessory when the prior estate naturally terminates (A's death). However, B cannot claim the property until A's death.
There are two types of remainders in property law: vested and contingent. A vested remainder is held by a specific person without any conditions precedent; a contingent remainder is one for which the holder has not been identified, or for which a condition precedent must be satisfied.