I need to know when do I legally own property – when I have paid for it completely or when I take possession?

UPDATED: Dec 11, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Dec 11, 2011Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

I need to know when do I legally own property – when I have paid for it completely or when I take possession?

I purchased a whitetail doe at an auction. I paid 50% down at that time. The agreement is as follows – the seller will breed the doe free of charge and keep the doe on his farm until after it fawns. I have the choice of picking up the doe and offspring at that time or leaving them all on his farm and re-breeding the doe and picking up all animals the next year. At that time I will be responsible for paying the remaining 50% plus boarding fees for all animals. When do I legally own the deer and offspring?

Asked on December 11, 2011 under Business Law, Wisconsin


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

There is, unfortunately, no general answer: it would be legal for you to own the deer immediately, while having an enforceable obligation to pay the balance; or it would be legal for you to only take title upon payment in full. Since it is legal either way, the answer depends on what was agreed to between you and the seller--what was your agreement or understanding? If it is not clear, or if you and the seller disagree, then try looking to industry practice, which will often be found to help clarify agreements--that is, what is the usual rule when someone buys an animal like a deer but pays over time, rather than all at once?

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption