lapse

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Lapse

The termination or failure of a right or privilege because of a neglect to exercise that right or to perform some duty within a time limit, or because a specified contingency did not occur. The expiration of coverage under an insurance policy because of the insured's failure to pay the premium.

The common-law principle that a gift in a will does not take effect but passes into the estate remaining after the payment of debts and particular gifts, if the beneficiary is alive when the will is executed but subsequently predeceases the testator.

In its broadest sense, the term lapse describes the loss of any right or privilege because of the passage of time or the occurrence or nonoccurrence of a certain event. It is often used by legislatures in reference to governmental concerns. Legislatures may include anti-lapse provisions in statutes to ensure that certain spending programs remain funded from year to year. Lapse also has distinct significance in the law of insurance contracts and wills.

An insurance policy can lapse, or become void, if the insured fails to make payments on it. All states give insureds a grace period, which allows extra time to make a payment owed under a policy. The grace period varies from policy to policy. For example, in Maine the grace period is seven days for Health Insurance policies with weekly premiums, ten days for such policies with monthly premiums, and thirty-one days for all other such policies (Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 24-A, § 2707). The grace period in Maine is thirty days for life insurance policies (§ 2505).

Some statutes on insurance policy lapses provide a small measure of protection against lapse. For example, Maine Revised Statutes Annotated, title 24-A, section 2739 (West 1995), states that no insurance company may cancel a health insurance policy within three months of nonpayment unless the insurer provides the insured with a notice of potential lapse within ten to forty-five days after the premium was due. Section 4751 provides that in the event of a strike by insurance agents, no life or noncancellable health, hospital expense, or hospital and surgical expense insurance policy may lapse owing to nonpayment within thirty days of the strike's inception. This law applies only if the agent is responsible for the collection of premiums and is represented in Collective Bargaining by a labor organization that has been recognized by the state.

A will is a document left by a deceased person, who is called a testator or devisor. A will allocates the property of a testator to living persons. If the intended recipient of a gift in a will (called a beneficiary or devisee) dies before the testator, the gift may lapse. This means that the gift is void and is placed back into the estate of the testator. The property becomes part of the residuum of the estate and may not be disposed of in the manner sought by the testator.

Almost all states have statutes that provide that in the event of a lapse, the gift should go to the issue, or lineal descendants, of the deceased devisee. If the beneficiary has no issue, then the gift is left in the estate of the testator.

In some states the anti-lapse statute applies only to grandparents of the testator and lineal descendants of the testator's grandparents. For example, under the Maine Revised Statutes Annotated, title 18-A, section 2-605 (West 1995), the issue of the deceased devisee may receive a gift intended for the deceased devisee, but only if they survived the testator by 120 hours.

lapse

1) v. to fail to occur, particularly a gift made in a will. 2) v. to become non-operative. 3) n. the termination of a gift made by will or for future distribution from a trust, caused by the death of the person to whom the gift was intended (the beneficiary, legatee, devisee) prior to the death of the person making the will or creating the trust (the testator, trustor or settlor). (See: will, trust, beneficiary, legatee, devisee)

lapse

(Break), noun fuga, hiatus, interlude, lull, pause, recess
Associated concepts: devise, lapsed, legacy

lapse

(Expiration), noun decline, default, delinquency, dereliction, error, error, expiry, failure, inconstancy, lapsus, misdeed, misstep, mistake, negligence, peccatum, regression, relapse, retrogradation, retrogression, secession, shortcoming, slip, termination
Associated concepts: lapsed bequest, lapsed devise, lapsed legacy, lapsed license, lapsed policy

lapse

(Cease), verb abate, become forfeit, become void, come to an end, complete, conclude, discontinue, end, expire, pass to another, relinquish, reverti, run out, stop, terminate
Foreign phrases: Accusator post rationabile tempus non est audiendus, nisi se bene de omissione excusaverit.An accuser ought not to be heard after the lapse of a reaaonable time, unless he can account satisfactorily for his delay.

lapse

(Fall into error), verb be at fault, commit an error, deviate from the proper path, deviate from virtue, do wrong, err, errare, fail, fall from grace, go astray, go awry, misbehave, misstep, peccare, slip, slip from virtue, stray, transgress, trespass, weaken
See also: abeyance, cease, cessation, cloture, declination, decline, default, degenerate, descent, deteriorate, error, expire, halt, hiatus, interval, misdeed, nonpayment, oversight, pendency, recrudescence, relapse, remission, respite, revert, stop, subside

lapse

the termination of some right, interest, or privilege, as by neglecting to exercise it or through failure of some contingency.

LAPSE, eccl. law. The transfer, by forfeiture, of a right or power to present or collate to a vacant benefice, from, a person vested with such right, to another, in consequence of some act of negligence of the former. Ayl. Parerg. 331.

References in classic literature ?
His narrative was often broken by lapses of concentration during which he reverted to his plaintive mumbling for food and recurrence to the statement that there was a way out; but by firmness and patience the Englishman drew out piece-meal a more or less lucid exposition of the remarkable scheme of evolution that rules in Caspak.
As Cowper's life went on, the terrible lapses into insanity became more frequent, but his sweet and kindly temper won him many friends, and he still wrote a great deal.
laps or lapses from the sides of the cavernous mouth.
How seldom he lapses into a blustering manner, after all
She had lapses of memory, and was continually finding herself doing unplanned things.
He had lapsed into the condition in which he found himself, as many a man lapses into many a condition, without perceiving the accumulative power of its separate circumstances.
If, after long lapse of years, the right seems to be in our power, we find no niche to set it in.
But, in the lapse of the toilsome, thoughtful, and self-devoted years that made up Hester's life, the scarlet letter ceased to be a stigma which attracted the world's scorn and bitterness, and became a type of something to be sorrowed over, and looked upon with awe, yet with reverence too.
I speak of sequences, but I required no lapse of seconds to stiffen myself for a third encounter with Quint.
The lapse of time during which a given event has not happened, is, in this logic of habit, constantly alleged as a reason why the event should never happen, even when the lapse of time is precisely the added condition which makes the event imminent.
The result was that in the next generation the family brain was registered at only 58 degrees, and not till the lapse of five generations was the lost ground recovered, the full 60 degrees attained, and the Ascent from the Isosceles finally achieved.
It is a picturesque expanse, framed in lofty crags in large strata, encrusted with white salt-- a superb sheet of water, which was formerly of larger extent than now, its shores having encroached with the lapse of time, and thus at once reduced its breadth and increased its depth.