Symbolic Delivery

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The constructive conveyance of the subject matter of a gift or sale, when it is either inaccessible or cumbersome, through the offering of some substitute article that indicates the donative intent of the donor or seller and is accepted as the representative of the original item.

For example, when one individual wishes to make a gift of a car to another individual, he or she might do so by handing over the keys and all documents indicating ownership thereof. In the law of real property, the transfer of a twig or clod of dirt from the grantor of land to the grantee was livery of seisin that constituted symbolic delivery of the right of legal possession or ownership of land pursuant to a freehold estate. Today the transfer of a deed from the seller to a buyer demonstrates the change in ownership of property.