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A gift of money or property made by a person while alive to his or her child or other legally recognized heir, the value of which the person intends to be deducted from the child's or heir's eventual share in the estate after the giver's death.
An advancement is not the same as a gift or a loan because the person intends that the "advance" of the heir's share of the estate be applied against what the heir would normally inherit. Although sometimes used to describe situations involving both people who have died intestate (without leaving a valid will) and people who have left a will, the term advancement should be used only when there is no valid will. The laws of Descent and Distribution regulate the distribution of an intestate's property. The term Ademption applies to lifetime gifts that reduce a beneficiary's share under a will.
n. a gift made by a person to one of his or her children or heir (a presumptive heir since an heir is only determined on the date of death) in anticipation of a gift from the still-living parent's potential estate as an advance on one's inheritance. Example: John Richguy is going to leave his son $100,000 under his will or a percentage of the estate on John's death. John gives the son $50,000 with the intention that it would be deducted from the inheritance. The main problem is one of proof that the advanced sum was against the projected inheritance. A person making an advancement should leave a written statement about the advancement or get a signed receipt. Such gifts made shortly before death are more readily treated as an advancement than one made several years earlier. (See: estate, beneficiary)
ADVANCEMENT. That which is given by a father to his child or presumptive
heir, by anticipation of what he might inherit. 6 Watts, R. 87; 17 Mass. R.
358; 16 Mass. R. 200; 4 S. & R. 333; 11 John. R. 91; Wright, R. 339. See
also Coop Just. 515, 575; 1 Tho. Co. Lit. 835, 6; 3 Do. 345, 348; Toll. 301;
5 Vez. 721; 2 Rob. on Wills, 128; Wash. C. C. Rep. 225; 4 S. & R. 333; 1 S.
& R. 312; 3 Conn. Rep. 31; and post Collatio bonorum.
2. To constitute an advancement by the law of England, the gift must be made by the father and not by another, not even by the mother. 2 P. Wms. 856. In Pennsylvania a gift of real or personal estate by the father or mother may be an advancement. 1 S. & R. 427; Act 19 April 1794, Sec. 9; Act 8 April, 1833, Sec. 16. There are in the statute laws of the several states provisions relative to real and personal estates, similar in most respects to those which exist in the English statute of distribution, concerning an advancement to a child. If any child of the intestate has been advanced by him by settlement, either out of the real or personal estate, or both, equal or superior to the amount in value of the share of such child which would be due from the real and personal estate, if no such advancement had been made, then such child and his descendants, are excluded from any share in the real or personal estate of the intestate.
3. But if the advancement be not equal, then such child, and in case of his death, his descendants, are entitled to receive, from the real and personal estate, sufficient to make up the deficiency, and no more.
4. The advancement, is either express or implied. As to what is an implied advancement, see 2 Fonb. Eq. 121; 1 Supp. to Ves. Jr. 84; 2 lb. 57; 1 Vern. by Raithby, 88, 108, 216; 5 Ves. 421; Bac. Ab. h.t.; 4 Kent, Com. 173.
5. A debt due by a child to his father differs from an advancement. In case of a debt, the money due may be recovered by action for the use of the estate, whether any other property be left by the deceased or not; whereas, an advancement merely bars the child's right to receive any part of his father's estate, unless he brings into hotch pot[?] the property advanced. 17 Mass. R. 93, 359. See, generally, 17 Mass. R. 81, 356; 4 Pick. R. 21; 4 Mass. R. 680; 8 Mass. R. 143; 10. Mass. R. 437; 5 Pick. R. 527; 7 Conn. R. 1; 6 Conn. R. 355; 5 Paige's R. 318; 6 Watts' R. 86, 254, 309; 2 Yerg. R. 135; 3 Yerg. R. 95; Bac. Ab. Trusts, D; Math. on Pres. 59; 5 Hayw. 137; 11 John. 91; l Swanst. 13; 1 Ch. Cas. 58; 3 Conn. 31; 15 Ves. 43, 50; U. S. Dig. h.t.; 6 Whart. 370; 4 S. & R. 333; 4 Whart. 130, 540; 5 Watts, 9; 1 Watts & Serg. 390; 10 Watts, R. 158; 5 Rawle, 213; 5 Watts, 9, 80; 6 Watts & Serg. 203. The law of France in respect to advancements is stated at length in Morl. Rep. de Jurisp. Rapport a succession.