In books that discuss figures in Colonial America and early American history (and I believe more broadly throughout contemporaneous European history), it is relatively common to see discussions of what property was owned by that figure and what property he controlled but was owned by someone else's estate. For example, when George Washington died, he owned 123 enslaved people who he could free in his will but there were another 153 enslaved people owned by the Custis estate at Mt. Vernon that he didn't (and to my understanding couldn't) free.
In the Washington example, the Custis estate was the estate of Daniel Parke Custis who died in 1757 some 42 years prior to Washington's death. In the modern era, a personal estate exists as an entity just long enough to pay off the decedent's debts and distribute any remaining property to whatever heirs are specified in the will. That can take some time in more complicated cases or when wills are contested but not 42 years. And certainly not 42 years when there was no apparent controversy about how to distribute the Custis assets.
In my head, it seems to more or less work when I replace "estate" in these contexts with the modern idea of a trust that was implicitly created by the decedent's will and which implicitly created trustees of either the executor of the will or the person given temporary control over the property. But I have no idea if this misses some important facet of 17th and 18th century estates. For example, it happens from time to time that someone worries about needing to reimburse the estate if some investment turns out badly while a modern trustee would be obligated to invest the funds of the trust prudently but wouldn't be personally liable for every market downturn.