A corporation has the general capacity to receive and to grant real estate.
The powers of a corporation depend upon its charter and as far as the state is concerned a corporation may not have a right to hold an excessive amount of real estate and can be compelled to dispose of the same. But almost every corporation has the power to own some real estate whether that is mentioned in the charter or not because that is a power which is incidental to its other powers. If it has any power to hold real estate it may take a good title to any real estate and give a good title to any real estate whether as far as the state is concerned it has a strict right to hold it or not. A purchaser of real estate from a corporation is therefore usually not concerned whether it has a right to hold the particular estate in question or not as he takes a good title if it has any power whatever to hold real estate.98
98. See title Corporations in this Series.
Aliens may as a general rule under the statutes sell or buy real estate to the same extent that citizens may but some statutes give the state a right to compel an alien to sell his real estate after he has held it for a certain number of years.
We may say that an alien may buy and sell real estate almost as freely as a citizen. Some states protect themselves against possible large holdings by an alien by statutes to the effect that after a period of years an alien may be compelled to dispose of the property at the suit of the state and thus convert his property into personal property.
A minor may take and receive real estate but his deeds are voidable by him upon becoming of age.
A person under legal age is called an infant or a minor. He may be a grantee in a deed and also may sell his property but after becoming of age he may have the deed set aside provided he acts within a reasonable time."
An insane person has, generally speaking, no power to grant real estate though he may take a title by deed.
An insane person's contracts are either void or voidable and he has no capacity to make deeds of a binding character. It is possible of course that an insane person shall have property deeded to him. He has the capacity to receive real estate.
99. See Volume I, of this Series as to contracts and deeds of minors.
144 The Law of Property.
A married woman at common law was incapacitated to make contracts but modern statutes have given her as full power to grant and to receive real estate as a married man has.
A woman's capacity to contract was taken from her at common law. There were indeed ways worked out by the conveyancers whereby title to her real estate might pass from her. By our modern laws in respect to married women, she has power to receive and grant real estate. The husband has, of course, an inchoate right of curtesy or dower in her real estate, so that he must join in her deed to convey an unclouded title; but a married man's conveyances are also subject to similar considerations.