Conditional Fee Law and Legal Definition

Conditional fee is a common law estate in land. It is a fee simple which is limited in that it eventually passes from the donee to certain heirs or the issue of the donee.

A conditional fee simple at common law is an estate limited over to some particular heirs, in exclusion of heirs general. A gift of land to a man and his heirs generally, if he shall have heirs of his body, without any other expression to qualify the word heir of his body, is a conditional fee. [Shriver Junior's Lessee v. Lynn, 43 U.S. 43, 55 (U.S. 1844)].

By the common law, a grant was called a conditional fee, as contradistinguished from a fee simple; and it was construed a fee simple, on condition that the donee had heirs of his body. [ANDERSON v. JACKSON, 16 Johns. 382 (N.Y. 1819)].