Fred’s grandmother, Gertrude, lacked a place to live. Feeling sorry for her, Fred granted Gertrude a life estate in Blackacre (a parcel of real estate developed with a house and a guest house). Gertrude moved into the main house. Sam approached Gertrude and said, “I’d sure like to fish in that big pond on Blackacre.” Gertrude said “Sure, go ahead.” Later, having been swayed by a radio advertisement, and needing a place to store her extensive collection of plastic flowers, Gertrude poured a concrete foundation on Blackacre and erected thereon a steel warehouse she had bought as a kit, bolting it to the foundation, and connecting it to the local electric, water, and sewer systems. Two months later, Evan and Elisa approached Gertrude and said, “We love Blackacre. We will give you $100,000 for it. Gertrude then signed a deed saying “I hereby grant to Evan and Elisa as tenants in common a fee simple absolute in Blackacre” and delivered it to them in exchange for the money. Gertrude then moved into the guest house. Evan and Elisa moved into the main house (telling Sam to quit fishing in the pond). Six weeks later, Gertrude died. Gertrude’s daughter, Deanna, who was the sole beneficiary under Gertrude’s will, enters Blackacre, removes the plastic flower collection, and begins tearing down the steel warehouse so she can sell the steel for scrap. One day later, Evan dies. Evan’s son, Elvis, thereafter approaches Elisa and tells Elisa “I’m here to claim my dad’s interest in Blackacre.”
Utilizing terms and concepts addressed in the chapter, answer the following questions and provide a full explanation for each answer.
(1) What did Sam receive? After Evan and Elisa told Sam to quit fishing in the pond, did Sam have a right to continue to fish in the pond? Why or why not?
(2) As between Fred and Deanna, who has a better claim to the steel warehouse? Why?
(3) What interest, if any, does Elvis have in Blackacre? Would the answer be different if the deed from Gertrude said “I hereby grant to Evan and Elisa as joint tenants with right of survivorship a fee simple absolute in Blackacre”? Why or why not?