FREEHOLD, estates. An estate of freehold is an estate in lands or other real property, held by a free tenure, for the life of the tenant or that of some other person; or for some uneertain period. It is called liberum tenementum, frank tenement or freehold; it was formerly described to be such an estate as could only be created by livery of seisin, a ceremony similar to the investiture of the feudal law. But since the introduction of certain modern conveyances, by which an estate of freehold may be created without livery of seisin, this description is not sufficient.
2. There are two qualities essentially requisite to the existence of a freehold estate. 1. Iramobility; that is, the subject-matter must either be land, or some interest issuing out of or annexed to land. 2. A sufficient legal indeterminate duration; for if the utmost period of time to which an estate can last, is fixed and determined, it is not an estate of freehold. For example, if lands are conveyed to a man and his heirs, or for his life, or for the life of another, or until he shall be married, or go to Europe, he has an estate of freehold; but if such lands are limited to a man for one hundred or five hundred years, if he shall so long live, he has not an estate of freehold. Cruise on Real Property t. 1, s. 13, 14 and 15 Litt. 59; 1 Inst. 42, a; 5 Mass. R. 419; 4 Kent, Com. 23; 2 Bouv. Inst. 1690, et seq. Freehold estates are of inheritance or not of inheritance. Cruise, t. 1, s. 42.