rule in Shelley's case

rule in Shel·​ley's case | \-ˈshe-lēz-\

Legal Definition of rule in Shelley's case 

: a former common-law rule that converted a life estate of an ancestor into an estate in fee and destroyed the remainder to the heirs that was created in the same instrument as that creating the life estate — see also executory interest at interest sense 1

History and Etymology for rule in Shelley's case

from Wolfe v. Shelley, a 1581 English case invoking the rule

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to make faulty or ineffective

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