AskDefine | Define hereditament

Dictionary Definition

hereditament n : any property (real or personal or mixed) that can be inherited

Extensive Definition

In law, a hereditament (from Lat. hereditare, to inherit, heres, heir) is any kind of property that can be inherited.
Hereditaments are divided into corporeal and incorporeal. Corporeal hereditaments are "such as affect the senses, and may be seen and handled by the body; incorporeal are not the subject of sensation, can neither be seen nor handled, are creatures of the mind, and exist only in contemplation" (Blackstone, Commentaries). An example of a corporeal hereditament is land held in freehold.
Examples of incorporeal hereditaments are: hereditary titles of honor or dignity, heritable titles of office, Prescriptive Barony, rights of way, tithes, advowsons, pensions, annuities, rents, franchises, etc. The term is still used in the phrase "lands, tenements and hereditaments" to describe property in land, as distinguished from goods and chattels or movable property.
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