Devolve Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Devolve, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Devolve?

v. The automatic transfer of property from one party to another through an operation of law that does not require an act by the past or present owner. For example: passing title to the natural heir of a person’s upon his/her death. 2) Upon the death of a president, the passing of authority to a vice president. 3) To give a territory the sovereign right to run itself.

History and Meaning of Devolve

Devolve is a term used in law that refers to the automatic transfer of property or authority from one person or entity to another, without requiring any action by the original owner. This can happen in a variety of situations, such as when a person dies and their property passes to their heirs, or when a government entity grants a territory the right to govern itself.

The term devolve comes from the Latin word "devolvere," which means "to roll down" or "to transfer." In legal contexts, it refers to the transfer of rights, privileges, or responsibilities from one person or entity to another through a legal process.

Examples of Devolve

  1. When a property owner dies without a will, their property may devolve to their heirs according to the laws of the state.
  2. Upon the death or resignation of a president, their authority may devolve to the vice president.
  3. After the British Parliament passed the Scotland Act in 1998, certain governmental powers devolved from the central UK government to the Scottish Parliament.
  4. In some countries, such as Canada and Australia, certain powers may devolve from the federal government to the provincial or state governments.
  5. When a public company is dissolved, its assets may devolve to its shareholders.

Legal Terms Similar to Devolve

  1. Transfer of title: The legal process of transferring ownership of property from one person to another.
  2. Succession: The process by which property devolves to an heir after the death of its owner.
  3. Delegation: The transfer of authority or responsibility from one person to another, with the original person retaining some level of control or oversight.