1. An adverse possessor only gets the estate owned by the record-holder against whom he possesses. If the RH has a life estate, the AP gets a life estate, too, which terminates when the RH dies. See White v. Brown, 559 S.W.2d 938. Thus, if the record-holder's estate is a fee simple subject to CS, so is the AP's.(Of course, the relevant RH is the one who owned at the moment adverse possession began. So, for instance, if O owns a fee simple when A's adv. poss. starts, but dies before the SoL ends, leaving a life estate to H, A gets a full fee simple when the SoL ends.)
Not so sure about this one. You're right that the AP only gets the estate owned by the RH against whom he possesses, but the tricky question, in the case of a life estate, is who is that person. In other words, is the AP possessing against just the life tenant, or also against the remainderman/grantor (depending on whether the life estate is followed by a remainder or a reversion)? One would seem to think not, since the remainderman doesn't have any entitlement to the land before the life tenant's interest ends, so he couldn't possibly have sued (that's presumably the life tenant's job), and therefore the SOL never starts running against the remainderman. This is a pretty strong argument, it seems.But Dukeminier and Krier (5th Ed.) on p. 269, suggests that the remainderman CAN sue 3d parties which trespass on the land or commit waste during the life tenancy. If this is true, then it seems that the SOL for adverse possession would also run against the remainderman. Also, the remainderman can't afford to be completely ignorant of what's going on with the land during the life tenancy, since the life tenant can do things which threaten his future interest (i.e., renounce the life estate and remain on the land, commit waste, etc.) causing the life tenant to be an adverse possessor against the remainderman's future interest. If the remainderman has to worry about these sorts of possibilities, and be ready to sue the life tenant to preserve his future interest, it makes little sense why he shouldn't also have to watch out for what 3d party trespassers do during the life tenancy: either way, he can't just remain blissfully ignorant of what happens to the land during the life tenancy.This was actually my Property professor's favorite puzzle last year.
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