Ademption (of legacies)

A specific legacy ( www.practicallaw.com/3-383-4737) in a will fails to take effect (adeems) if the testator no longer owns that particular asset when he dies.

If the testator does not want a legacy to adeem, he can specify that it includes a replacement asset, for example, "any other car that I own at my death" or "any other property that is my sole or main residence at my death" (see Standard document, Master Will with drafting notes: Drafting notes: Describing Personal Possessions ( www.practicallaw.com/5-381-4187) and Property ( www.practicallaw.com/5-381-4187) ). If the testator does not make an express statement, the question of whether replacement assets are included in a legacy is a question of construction of the will concerned.

Ademption does not affect general legacies ( www.practicallaw.com/2-500-2583) or demonstrative legacies ( www.practicallaw.com/3-500-2587) .

Ademption should not be confused with abatement ( www.practicallaw.com/3-504-9641) .

For more information about ademption, see Ask the team: What happens when a will contains a gift of a house that has been sold before the testator's death by his attorney? ( www.practicallaw.com/0-504-8884) .

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