free·hold / ˈfrēˌhōld/ • n. permanent and absolute tenure of land or property with freedom to dispose of it at will. Often contrasted with leasehold. ∎ (the freehold) the ownership of a piece of land or property by such tenure. ∎ a piece of land or property held by such tenure. • adj. held by or having the status of freehold. DERIVATIVES: free·hold·er n.
A life estate, an interest in land the duration of which is restricted to the life or lives of a particular person or persons holding it, or an estate in fee, an interest in property that is unconditional and represents the broadest ownership interest recognized by law.
In order to be categorized as a freehold, an estate must possess the characteristics of (1) immobility—in the sense that the property must be either land, or some interest derived from or affixed to land—and (2) indeterminate duration.
Determinable freeholds are life estates created by language that provides that the estate is to terminate automatically upon the occurrence of a specified event.