What Is the Legal Description of Property?


Quick Answer

Property is legally defined as money, tangible things of value and any intangible right considered a potential source of money or value. Property is also considered an exclusive right to the use of things. A proprietor is free to do anything within the bounds of the law with his property.

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Full Answer

Property is divided into real and personal, absolute and qualified, and then corporeal and non-corporeal. Absolute property is that which belongs to a person without any qualifications or strings attached. One example of qualified property is captured animals, which are only made property by the condition of possession.

Property can be sold and traded; it can also be forcefully removed by lawful process to settle a debt or as part of a criminal sentence. Other events that can lead to the loss of property are death of the proprietor, capture by public enemies and events considered "Acts of God," such as natural disasters or the unexplained death of animals. The loss of property does not make it impossible to re-obtain that property. In most cases, the law is on the side of the proprietor.

Not everything can be legally made into property. The sea, the air and other natural elements cannot belong exclusively to anyone; everyone is free to enjoy them.

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