extinction


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Related to extinction: Mass extinction, Extinction of Species

Ademption

The failure of a gift of personal property—a bequest—or of real property—a devise—to be distributed according to the provisions of a decedent's will because the property no longer belongs to the testator at the time of his or her death or because the property has been substantially changed.

There are two types of ademption: by extinction and by satisfaction.

Extinction

Ademption by extinction occurs when a particular item of Personal Property or specially designated real property is substantially changed or not part of the testator's estate when he or she dies. For example, a testator makes a will giving her farm to her nephew and a diamond watch to her niece. Before she dies, she sells the farm and loses the watch. The proceeds of the sale of the farm are traced to a bank account. After the testator's death, the nephew claims the proceeds from the sale and the niece claims that the executor of the estate should pay her the value of the diamond watch. Neither claim will be upheld. Once the farm is sold, the specific devise is adeemed by extinction. The proceeds from its sale are not its equivalent for inheritance purposes. In some states, however, if all of the proceeds had not yet been paid, the nephew would be entitled to receive the unpaid balance.

Since the testator no longer owns the diamond watch when she dies, that specific bequest is also adeemed by extinction.

Satisfaction

Ademption by satisfaction takes place when the testator, during his or her lifetime, gives to his or her heir all or a part of the gift he or she had intended to give by his or her will. It applies to both specific bequests and devises as well as to a general bequest or legacy payable from the general assets of the testator's estate. If the subject of the gift made while the testator is alive is the same as the subject of a provision of the will, many states presume that it is in place of the testamentary gift if there is a parent-child or grandparent-grandchild relationship. Otherwise, an ademption by satisfaction will not be found unless there is independent evidence, such as express statements or writings, that the testator intended this to occur. A father makes a will leaving his ski house to his daughter and $25,000 to his son. Before death, he gives the daughter the deed to the ski house and he gives the son $15,000 with which to complete medical school. After the father's death, the daughter will get nothing, while the son will get $10,000.

After the son received the $15,000 from his father, there was an ademption by satisfaction of the general legacy of $25,000 to the extent of the size of the lifetime gift, $15,000. The son is entitled to receive the remaining $10,000 of the original general legacy. Since there was a parent-child relationship, there was no need for independent proof that the $15,000 gift was intended to adeem the gift under the will.

Further readings

Lundwall, Mary Kay. 1993. "The Case against the Ademption by Extinction Rule: A Proposal for Reform." Gonzaga Law Review 29 (fall) 105–32.

Volkmer, Ronald R. 2000. "Doctrine of Ademption in the Law of Wills." Estate Planning 27 (March-April): 136–37.

See: aberemurder, abolition, ademption, cancellation, catastrophe, death, demise, destruction, dissolution, end, extremity, mortality, prostration, subversion, termination
References in classic literature ?
Nor, considered aright, does it seem any argument in favor of the gradual extinction of the Sperm Whale, for example, that in former years (the latter part of the last century, say) these Leviathans, in small pods, were encountered much oftener than at present, and, in consequence, the voyages were not so prolonged, and were also much more remunerative.
The lower middle class, the small manufacturer, the shopkeeper, the artisan, the peasant, all these fight against the bourgeoisie, to save from extinction their existence as fractions of the middle class.
Thus the progress of the Hawiians and Tahitians to utter extinction is accelerated in a sort of compound ratio.
Neither could I forget what I had read of these pits -- that the sudden extinction of life formed no part of their most horrible plan.
There appears to be a tendency to extinction among all the savage nations; and this tendency would seem to have been in operation among the aboriginals of this country long before the advent of the white men, if we may judge from the traces and traditions of ancient populousness in regions which were silent and deserted at the time of the discovery; and from the mysterious and perplexing vestiges of unknown races, predecessors of those found in actual possession, and who must long since have become gradually extinguished or been destroyed.
I left behind me the end of the Cannebiere, a wide vista of tall houses and much-lighted pavements losing itself in the distance with an extinction of both shapes and lights.
Then I reflected that I had better try a short absence first, for I must already have had a sense (unexpressed and dim) that in disappearing completely it would not be merely my own hopes that I should condemn to extinction.
Yet while so deeply demoralised he was capable again of an impulse denoting - at least by his present measure - extraordinary resolution; of retracing his steps to the spot where he had turned cold with the extinction of his last pulse of doubt as to there being in the place another presence than his own.
It is interesting in this manner to perceive, so largely developed, the germs of extinction in the so-called powerful Anglo-Saxon family.
Your memoirs will draw to an end, Watson, upon the day that I crown my career by the capture or extinction of the most dangerous and capable criminal in Europe.
There is something very sad in the extinction of a family of renown, even if it was fierce, domineering, feudal renown.
It was a long time since any well- known banker had failed discreditably; but every one remembered the social extinction visited on the heads of the firm when the last event of the kind had happened.