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Property: Introduction to Property

Examines the basic elements of the law of real and personal property.

Property Law - Black's Law Dictionary

property. 1. The right to possess, use, and enjoy a determinate thing (either a tract of land or a chattel); the right of ownership <the institution of private property is protected from undue governmental interference>. — Also termed bundle of rights. 2. Any external thing over which the rights of possession, use, and enjoyment are exercised <the airport is city property>.
abandoned property. Property that the owner voluntarily surrenders, relinquishes, or disclaims. Cf. lost property; mislaid property.
absolute property. Property that one has full and complete title to and control over.
adventitious property. 1. Roman law. Property coming to a son or daughter from anyone other than the paterfamilias. — Also termed peculium adventitium. 2. Hist. Property coming to one from a stranger or collateral relative.
appointive property. A property interest that is subject to a power of appointment.
common property. 1. Real property that is held by two or more persons with no right of survivorship. Cf. joint property. 2. common area.
community property. See community property.
complete property. The entirety of the rights, privileges, powers, and immunities that it is legally possible for a person to have with regard to land or any other thing, apart from those that all other members of society have in the land or thing.
corporeal property. 1. The right of ownership in material things. 2. Property that can be perceived, as opposed to incorporeal property; tangible property.
distressed property. Property that must be sold because of mortgage foreclosure or because it is part of an insolvent estate.
domestic-partnership property. Property that would be marital property if the domestic partners were married to each other. See domestic partnership; domestic-partnership period.
dotal property. Civil law. Separate property that the wife brings to the marriage to assist the husband with the marriage expenses. Cf. extradotal property.
exempt property. See exempt property.
extradotal property (ek-str<<schwa>>-doh-t<<schwa>>l). Civil law. 1. That portion of a wife's property over which she has complete control. 2. All of a wife's effects that have not been settled on her as dowry; any property that a wife owns apart from her dowry. Also termed paraphernal property. Cf. dotal property.
general property. Property belonging to a general owner. See general owner under owner.
income property. Property that produces income, such as rental property.
incorporeal property. 1. An in rem proprietary right that is not classified as corporeal property. • Incorporeal property is traditionally broken down into two classes: (1) jura in re aliena (encumbrances), whether over material or immaterial things, examples being leases, mortgages, and servitudes; and (2) jura in re propria (full ownership over immaterial things), examples being patents, copyrights, and trademarks. 2. A legal right in property having no physical existence. • Patent rights, for example, are incorporeal property. — Also termed incorporeal chattel; incorporeal thing.
intangible property. Property that lacks a physical existence. • Examples include stock options and business goodwill. Cf. tangible property.
intellectual property. See intellectual property.
joint property. Real or personal property held by two or more persons with a right of survivorship. Cf. common property.
limited-market property. See special-purpose property.
literary property. See literary property.
lost property. Property that the owner no longer possesses because of accident, negligence, or carelessness, and that cannot be located by an ordinary, diligent search. Cf. abandoned property; mislaid property.
marital property. Property that is acquired during marriage and that is subject to distribution or division at the time of marital dissolution. Also termed marital estate. See community property; equitable distribution.
maternal property. Property that comes from the mother of a party or other ascendants of the maternal stock.
mislaid property. Property that has been voluntarily relinquished by the owner with an intent to recover it later — but that cannot now be found. Cf. abandoned property; lost property.
mixed property. Property with characteristics of both real property and personal property — such as heirlooms and fixtures.
movable property. See movable.
neutral property. See neutral property.
nonancestral property. See nonancestral estate under estate.
nonexempt property. See nonexempt property.
paraphernal property. See extradotal property.
paternal property. Property that comes from the father of a party or other ascendants of the paternal stock.
personal property. 1. Any movable or intangible thing that is subject to ownership and not classified as real property. — Also termed personalty; personal estate; movable estate; (in plural) things personal. Cf. real property. 2. Tax. Property not used in a taxpayer's trade or business or held for income production or collection.
private property. Property — protected from public appropriation — over which the owner has exclusive and absolute rights.
public property. State-or community-owned property not restricted to any one individual's use or possession.
qualified property. A temporary or special interest in a thing (such as a right to possess it), subject to being totally extinguished by the occurrence of a specified contingency over which the qualified owner has no control.
qualified-terminable-interest property. Property that passes by a QTIP trust from a deceased spouse to the surviving spouse and that (if the executor so elects) qualifies for the marital deduction provided that the surviving spouse is entitled to receive all income in payments made at least annually for life and that no one has the power to appoint the property to anyone other than the surviving spouse. • The purpose of the marital deduction is to permit deferral of estate taxes until the death of the surviving spouse. But this property is included in the surviving spouse's estate at death, where it is subject to the federal estate tax. — Abbr. QTIP. See QTIP trust under trust.
quasi-community property. See community property.
real property. Land and anything growing on, attached to, or erected on it, excluding anything that may be severed without injury to the land. • Real property can be either corporeal (soil and buildings) or incorporeal (easements). — Also termed realty; real estate. Cf. personal property (1).
scheduled property. Insurance. Property itemized on a list (usu. attached to an insurance policy) that records property values, which provide the basis for insurance payments in the event of a loss under an insurance policy.
separate property. See separate property.
special-design property. See special-purpose property.
special property. Property that the holder has only a qualified, temporary, or limited interest in, such as (from a bailee's standpoint) bailed property.
special-purpose property. Property that has a unique design or layout, incorporates special construction materials, or has other features that limit the property's utility for purposes other than the one for which it was built. • Because of the property's specialized nature, the market for the property may be quite limited. — Also termed limited-market property; special-design property.
specialty property. See specialty.
tangible personal property. Corporeal personal property of any kind; personal property that can be seen, weighed, measured, felt, or touched, or is in any other way perceptible to the senses, such as furniture, cooking utensils, and books.
tangible property. Property that has physical form and characteristics. Cf. intangible property.
terminable property. Property (such as a leasehold) whose duration is not perpetual or indefinite but is limited in time or is liable to termination upon the occurrence of some specified event.
wasting property. 1. Property that is consumed in its normal use, such as a wasting asset, a leasehold interest, or a patent right. 2. A right to or an interest in such property.