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Interests in Real Property

Property interests (and the corresponding rights and duties) are many and diverse. For example, you may have a future interest by virtue of your inclusion in a will. Your rights may be limited (e.g., the future interest may be shared with siblings) or subject to complete divestment (e.g., the property may be sold before the death of the testator). Alternatively, you may have a present possessory interest by virtue of a lease. Your rights in leased property are limited inasmuch as you cannot sell or encumber it. In addition, you have a duty to maintain the property and pay rent.

Rights associated with a fee simple absolute interest exceed those of any other. It is an interest of potentially infinite duration – subject only to rights of mortgage or other lien holders (i.e., the power to take property by foreclosure), adverse possession and the state’s power of eminent domain. Your rights of use are subject only to zoning, easements and restrictive covenants. And the interest is freely transferable, devisable or inheritable.