FindLaw Legal Dictionary
The FindLaw Legal Dictionary -- free access to over 8260 definitions of legal terms. Search for a definition or browse our legal glossaries.
[Anglo-French propreté proprieté, from Latin proprietat- proprietas, from proprius own, particular]
1 : something (as an interest, money, or land) that is owned or possessed see also asset, estate, interest, possession
: property to which the owner has relinquished all rights NOTE: When property is abandoned, the owner gives up the reasonable expectation of privacy concerning it. The finder of abandoned property is entitled to keep it, and a police officer may take possession of abandoned property as evidence without violating the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
1 : property (as proceeds) that a debtor acquires after the commencement of a bankruptcy case and that is usually considered part of the bankruptcy estate
2 : property acquired after the perfection of a lien or security interest
: such property acquired after the creation of a lien or security interest that is subject to the lien or becomes collateral for the security interest
3 : property transferred to the estate of a decedent after execution of the will
: property owned or used by more than one party
: property owned or leased by tenants in common compare tenancy in common at tenancy
: property held jointly by husband and wife
: property esp. from employment and debts acquired by either spouse after marriage that is deemed in states having a community property system to belong to each spouse as an undivided one-half interest compare ownership in indivision at ownership NOTE: The states having community property are Louisiana, Arizona, California, Texas, Washington, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, and Wisconsin.
: real property in this entry
in the civil law of Louisiana
: tracts of land with their component parts
: property (as a stock certificate or professional license) that derives value not from its intrinsic physical nature but from what it represents
: property that derives from the work of the mind or intellect
: an idea, invention, trade secret, process, program, data, formula, patent, copyright, or trademark or application, right, or registration relating thereto
: property that has been left in an unknown location involuntarily but through no one's fault NOTE: The finder of lost property has title to the property against all the world except the true owner.
: property acquired by either spouse during the course of a marriage that is subject to division upon divorce NOTE: In community property states, marital property is the same as community property and is divided equally upon divorce. In nearly all other states, marital property is divided according to what the court determines is equitable.
: property (as personal property or crops) that can be moved
1 : property (as a vehicle) that is movable but not including crops or other resources still attached to land
: property other than real property [a tax on the personal property of the corporation]
2 : property belonging to a particular person
qualified terminable interest property
: property passing to a surviving spouse that qualifies for the marital deduction if the executor so elects providing that the spouse is entitled to receive income in payments made at least annually for life and that no one has a power to appoint any part of the property to any person other than the surviving spouse see also QTIP trust at trust NOTE: Under federal tax law the property must be included in the gross estate of the surviving spouse at his or her own death, where it is subject to taxation.
: property consisting of land, buildings, crops, or other resources still attached to or within the land or improvements or fixtures permanently attached to the land or a structure on it
: an interest, benefit, right, or privilege in such property called also immovable property
: property of a spouse that is not community property or marital property
: property acquired by a spouse before marriage or individually during marriage (as by gift or often by inheritance)
: property that has a tangible and corporeal existence and intrinsic economic value because of it [the insurance policy restricted property damage coverage to tangible property] compare intangible property in this entry
2 : one or more rights of ownership
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.