TERM FOR YEARS
An estate for years, and the time during which such estate is to be held, are each called a term; hence the term may expire before the time, as by a surrender. Co. Litt. 45. If, for example, a conveyance be made to Peter for three years, and after the expiration of the said term to Paul for six, and Peter surrenders or forfeits his term after one year, Paul's estate takes effect immediately; if, on the contrary, the language had been after the expiration of the said time, or of the said three years, the result would have been different, and Paul's estate would not have taken effect till the end of such time, notwithstanding the forfeiture or surrender.
Whatever be its duration, a term for years is less than an estate for life. If, therefore, the same person have a term for years and an estate for life immediately succeeding it, the term is merged; but if the order of the estates be reversed, that is, if the greater precede the less, there is no merger.