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The cancellation of a bequest when the beneficiary dies before the testator. Thus, in general, if A's will leaves property to B but B predeceases A, the bequest does not take effect. The property becomes part of A's residuary estate and is distributed to his residuary beneficiaries. This rule is subject to the following exceptions:(1) When property is bequeathed to two or more persons as joint tenants, those who survive the testator take the property.(2) Section 33 of the Wills Act 1837 (as substituted by section 19 of the Administration of Justice Act 1982) provides that when property is bequeathed or devised to a child or remoter descendant of the testator who predeceases him but leaves issue of his own who are alive at the testator's death, those issue take the property (subject to a contrary intention being expressed in the will). A similar rule applies when property is left in tail (entailed interest).(3) Some gifts to charities that cease to exist before the testator's death may be applied cy-près.(4) Most importantly, the testator may stipulate what is to happen to the gift if the beneficiary predeceases him. See accruer; substitutional legacy.

(1) When property is bequeathed to two or more persons as joint tenants, those who survive the testator take the property.

(2) Section 33 of the Wills Act 1837 (as substituted by section 19 of the Administration of Justice Act 1982) provides that when property is bequeathed or devised to a child or remoter descendant of the testator who predeceases him but leaves issue of his own who are alive at the testator's death, those issue take the property (subject to a contrary intention being expressed in the will). A similar rule applies when property is left in tail (entailed interest).

(3) Some gifts to charities that cease to exist before the testator's death may be applied cy-près.

(4) Most importantly, the testator may stipulate what is to happen to the gift if the beneficiary predeceases him. See accruer; substitutional legacy.

From:  lapse  in  A Dictionary of Law »

Subjects: Law.


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