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An estate in property that takes effect at the termination of a life estate.One may transfer property to another for their lifetime or for the lifetime of a third party.The named person who defines the duration of the life estate is called the measuring life.The person who has the life estate is called the life tenant.When the measuring life ends,even if the life tenant is still alive,the person who owns the remainder is entitled to the full possession and enjoyment of the property.The interests may be contingent remainders, vested remainders, or vested remainders subject to divestiture. The rules of construction are complicated.
Example: A clause in a will leaving property to an only child for life, and then the remainder to grandchildren alive at the time of the child's death, creates a contingent remainder in the grandchildren until they are born, and then vested remainders as they are born, but subject to divestiture if they die before their parent, the testator's child. One should seek legal counsel well versed in specialty real estate law if setting up or interpreting life estates and remainders.