Specific Devise Definition and Legal Meaning

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

What is Specific Devise?

(n) A specific devise is the gifting of any particular property or part of real estate etc to any person by specifically nominating him to receives such identified property by a will. For example a will directing to give the apartment he lived last to be given to the youngest daughter Anna

History and Meaning of Specific Devise

A specific devise is a legal term commonly used in wills and estate planning. It refers to the gifting of a specific, identified property or real estate to a person or entity named in a will. The recipient of a specific devise is chosen specifically and explicitly, and not left to the discretion of the will's executor. The property or asset may be any material or immaterial possession, such as a house, car, artwork, or investment account.

The term "specific devise" dates back to the 16th century and has remained an essential component of estate planning since then. It's important to note that a specific devise is not the same as a general bequest, which refers to an item or asset that is given to a beneficiary without specifically identifying it. Instead, a specific devise is a tailored gift that takes into account the recipient's needs and desires.

Examples of Specific Devise

  1. A father's will states that his beachfront property should go to his son, John, upon his death.
  2. A wealthy business owner designates her antique car collection to be equally divided between her two daughters, Jane and Sarah.
  3. A famous artist bequeaths one of his paintings to a museum, with the understanding that it will be displayed prominently for generations to come.
  4. A grandmother's will directs that her diamond necklace be given to her granddaughter, Lily, who has always admired it.
  5. A homeowner's will specifies that his vacation home in Florida should be given to his niece, Emily, who has always enjoyed spending time there.

Legal Terms Similar to Specific Devise

  1. General bequest: A gift left to a beneficiary that is not a specific, identified asset.
  2. Residuary estate: The portion of a person's estate that remains after all specific devises and general bequests have been distributed to beneficiaries.
  3. Life estate: A type of ownership interest that gives a person the right to use a property for the rest of their life but does not allow them to sell or transfer ownership to someone else.