re·ver·sion / riˈvərzhən/ • n. 1. a return to a previous state, practice, or belief: there was some reversion to polytheism | [in sing.] a reversion to the two-party system. ∎ Biol. the action of reverting to a former or ancestral type.2. Law the right, esp. of the original owner or their heirs, to possess or succeed to property on the death of the present possessor or at the end of a lease: the reversion of property. ∎ a property to which someone has such a right. ∎ the right of succession to an office or post after the death or retirement of the holder: he was given a promise of the reversion of Boraston's job.DERIVATIVES: re·ver·sion·ar·y / -ˌnerē/ adj. (in sense 2).
Any future interest kept by a person who transfers property to another.
A reversion occurs when a property owner makes an effective transfer of property to another but retains some future right to the property. For example, if Sara transfers a piece of property to Shane for life, Shane has the use of the property for the rest of his life. Upon his death, the property reverts, or goes back, to Sara, or if Sara has died, it goes to her heirs. Shane's interest in the property, in this example, is a life estate. Sara's ownership interest during Shane's life, and her right or the right of her heirs to take back the property upon Shane's death, are called reversionary interests.
A reversion differs from a remainder because a reversion arises through the operation of law rather than by act of the parties. A remainder is a future interest that is created in some person other than the grantor or transferor, whereas a reversion creates a future interest in the grantor or his or her heirs. If Sara's transfer had been "to Shane for life, then to Lily," Lily's interest would be a remainder.