ESTATE n. 1. (in land law) The character and duration of a person’s ownership of land. For example, an estate in fee simple confers effectively absolute ownership; an estate for a term of years (called leasehold) or for life are lesser estates. Under the Law of Property Act 1925 only a *fee simple absolute in possession (called freehold) and a *term of years absolute can exist as legal estates in land. All other forms of ownership, e.g. an estate for life or an estate in fee simple coming into effect only on someone’s death, are equitable only.
2. (in revenue law) The aggregate of all the property to which a person is beneficially entitled. Excluded property, which includes most reversionary interests and certain foreign matters, is not taken into account for the death charge (see INHERITANCE TAX).
– Oxford Dictionary of Law 5th Edition | PAGE 180