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Devise in United Kingdom

Definition of Devise

In accordance with the work A Dictionary of Law, this is a description of Devise : 1. n.

A gift by will of *real property (Compare bequest; legacy); the beneficiary is called the devisee. A devise may be specific (e.g. “my house, Blackacre, to A”), general (e.g. “all my real property to B”), or residuary (e.g. after a specific devise “…and the rest of my real property to C”).

2. vb. To dispose of real property by will.

Definition of Devise

A gift of real property (i.e. Land, house).

Concept of Devise

The following is an old definition of Devise [1], a term which has several meanings:1, (verb) Originally, to divide or distribute property; now, to give realty by will. See Devisare.

Alternative Meaning

(Noun)A disposition of real property, contained in a man’s last will and testament. A testamentary disposition of land. In England, an appointment of particular lands to a particular devisee,- in the nature of a conveyance by way of appointment. Devisor. He who gives realty by will. Devisee. He to whom it is given. But “devise “is often used in the sense of “bequeath” and ” bequest,” ‘as referring to a legacy of personalty. In doubtful cases it is safest to adhere to the technical meaning, on the presumption that the testator used the word in that sense; but this rule will give way when it clearly appears that he understood and used the word in the popular sense. Contingent devise. When the vesting of the interest is made to depend upon the happening of some future event; in which case, if the event never occurs, or until it occurs, no estate vests. Vested devise. A devise which is not subject to a condition, precedent or unperformed. See Vest, 2, Vested. Executory devise. Such a disposition of lands by will that no estate vests at the death of the devisor, but on some future contingency. A limitation by will of a future estate or interest in lands or chattels. Such a limitation of a future estate or interest in lands as the law admits in the case of a will, though contrary to the rules of limitation, in conveyances at common law. Not, a mere possibility, but a substantial interest, and in respect to transmissibility stands on the same footing with a contingent remainder. By it a remainder may be created contrary to the general rule, on the supposition that the testator acted without advice. . . An executory de,yise differs from A ” remainder ” in that it needs no particular estatp to support it; by it a fee-simple or other less estate may be limited after a fee-simple; and by means of it a remainder may be limited of a chattel-interest, after a particular estate for life. A devise in future to an artificial being to be created is good as an executory devise. Although an estate may be devised to one in fee- simple or fee-tail, with a limitation over by way of an executory devise, yet, when the will shows a clear purpose to give an absolute power of disposition to the first taker, the limitation over is void. ” If there be an absolute power of disposition given by the will to the first taker, as if an estate be devised to A in fee and if he dies possessed of the property without lawful issue, the remainder over, or the remainder over the property which he, dying without heirs, should leave, or without selling or devising the same, – in all such cases the remainder over is void as a remainder because of the preceding fee, and it is void as an executory devise because the limitation is inconsistent with the absolute estate or power of disposition expressly given or necessarily implied by the will.” See Accumulation; Bequest; Die, Without children; Lapse; Legacy; Remainder; Residuary; Will..


Notes and References

  1. Meaning of Devise provided by the Anderson Dictionary of Law (1889) (Dictionary of Law consisting of Judicial Definitions and Explanations of Words, Phrases and Maxims and an Exposition of the Principles of Law: Comprising a Dictionary and Compendium of American and English Jurisprudence; William C. Anderson; T. H. Flood and Company, Law Publishers, Chicago, United States)

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Agostino Von Hassell, 'Devise' (lawi.org.uk 2017) <https://lawi.org.uk/devise/> accesed 2021 July 31

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Schema Summary

  • Article Name: Devise
  • Author: Agostino Von Hassell
  • Description: Definition of Devise In accordance with the work A Dictionary of Law, this is a description of Devise : 1. n. A gift by [...]

This entry was last updated: May 1, 2017


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