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Choate

Perfected, complete, or certain.

A choate right is an undefeatable right that is totally valid and cannot be subsequently lessened or altered by later claims. If someone purchases a plot of land totally free from encumbrances, that person has a choate property interest in the land.

A choate lien is one to which nothing further must be done to make it enforceable. Elements such as the identity of the lienor and the property that is subject to the lien are established; thus, the lien is certain and definite.

Inchoate, the opposite of choate, is the more commonly used phrase. It means unfinished or incomplete and is used to describe a number of things such as liens, rights, crimes, or interests. For example the term inchoate BATTERY can be used to describe an assault.

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