Adeem Definition and Legal Meaning
On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Adeem, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.
What is Adeem?
v. adeem is a term used in the law of wills which stands for annulling of a gift made in will in case of its non-existence after the testator’s death. This could be from various reasons like destruction (act of god or willful), sale, etc. When property bequested under a will is no longer in the testator’s estate when the testator dies the court may restore back the property or its value by auctioning off testator’s residuary estate. If, for example, the will bequeathed the testator’s car to a specific person, but the testator owned no car at the time of his death, then the gift would have been adeemed.
History and Meaning of Adeem
Adeem is a legal term that has been used in the law of wills for centuries. The term "adeem" comes from the latin "ademptio" meaning "taking away" or "removing." It refers to the annulling of a gift made in a will in cases of its non-existence after the testator's death, usually because of destruction, sale, or some other event that caused the property to no longer exist.
Examples of Adeem
- If the testator's will bequeaths his house to his son, but the house burns down before the testator's death, the gift is adeemed and the son will not receive the house.
- If a testator's will bequeaths a specific piece of artwork to his daughter, but he sells the artwork before his death, the gift is adeemed and the daughter will not receive the artwork.
- If a testator's will bequeaths a specific amount of money to his granddaughter, but he spends the money before his death, the gift is adeemed and the granddaughter will not receive the money.
Legal Terms Similar to Adeem
- Abeyance: a situation in which property or rights are in temporary suspension or pending, e.g. a property remaining without an owner
- Ademption by extinction: when the property is no longer available, and the bequest or devise fails.
- Lapse: happens when the intended beneficiary predeceases (dies before) the testator, and the gift fails.