In civil law, the corporeal property is a legal right of ownership over material things that a person has.
Corporeal property is having legal rights over such subjects in existence that are tangible and palpable like land and chattel.
In common law, corporeal property signifies things that are in our possession.
The characteristics of a corporeal property are:
- Always visible
- Can be perceived by the senses
How Is Corporeal Property Different From Incorporeal Property?
While corporeal property is having a legal right over tangible things, incorporeal property is about having a legal right over things that cannot be seen or handled.
Incorporeal property concerns itself with intangible things. It is also called intellectual or conventional property.
An example of a corporeal property would be a house, while an example of an incorporeal property would be a trademark.
What Are the Two Distinctions of Corporeal Property?
Movable vs. Immovable
Movable property is a property you own and can take with you. This includes works of art, documents, and your mobile phone.
On the other hand, immovable property is a property you have legal rights over which cannot be physically moved.
Examples include land, buildings, roads, and constructions that are physically connected to the soil. [R]
Real vs. Personal
Real property includes all rights over a possession that cannot be physically transported and other attachments to the land. This explains why land is sometimes called real estate or realty. [R]
In Roman Law, this can be recovered by legal action and is why land is regarded as such.
In a sense, personal property is all other legal proprietary rights that are not real property.
Just a quick note
Under the law, an immovable possession does not necessarily mean the same thing as having a real right, and movable does not directly correspond with a personal right, but they are now interchangeable terms.
Frequently Asked Questions
#1 Does Corporeal Property Include Material or Immaterial Things?
By law, corporeal property deals mainly with material things.
On the other hand, immaterial things are called incorporeal, since they lack the characteristics of a corporeal object.
#2 What Are My Rights if My Property Is Considered Corporeal?
The right of ownership over a material object is general, permanent, and inheritable.
- The right is general because the owner is entitled to the aggregate use of the thing except if it has a natural limit or restriction.
- Second, the right is permanent because it will exist as long as the material thing also exists.
- Lastly, the ownership of a material object is inheritable because the original owner can pass down the object to another after his death.
This means the right survives AFTER the death of its owner.
#3 How Do I Know an Object Is Considered Immovable?
For a property to be considered as such, it has to have at least one characteristic out of these five elements:
- A determinate portion of the earth’s surface
- The ground from the surface to the center of the earth
- A reasonable space above the surface necessary and sufficient for the free beneficial enjoyment of the surface land
- All objects which are on or under the surface in its natural state (vegetation, minerals)
- All things attached to the earth