power of appointment

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A right given to someone to dispose of property that is not his, within bounds established by the owner of the property (it is sometimes called a mere or bare power; compare trust power). The owner of the property (the donor of the power) gives a power to another (the donee of the power, or appointor) to appoint (give) the property to a person (the appointee) chosen by the appointor. The power may be general (under which an appointment may be made to anyone, including the donee or the appointor himself), special (an appointment may be made only within a class chosen by the donor), or hybrid (an appointment may be made to virtually anyone except a small class). The appointees have very limited rights – much more limited than those of beneficiaries under a trust. An appointment is void if it is made to someone not within the class chosen or if it is a fraud on a power.

Subjects: Law.

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