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To give an immediate, fixed right of present or future enjoyment.

The term vest is significant in the law, because it means that a person has an absolute right to some present or future interest in something of value. When a right has vested, the person is legally entitled to what has been promised and may seek relief in court if the benefit is not given.

In U.S. Property Law a vested remainder is a future interest held by an identifiable person (the remainderman), which, upon the happening of a certain event, will become the remainderman's. When property is given to one person for life and, at the person's death, the property is to go to another living person, this second person has a vested remainder in the property.

A vested legacy is an inheritance given in such terms that there is a fixed, irrevocable right to its payment. For example, a legacy contained in a will that states that the inheritance shall not be paid until the person reaches the age of twenty-one is a vested legacy, because it is given unconditionally and absolutely and therefore vests an immediate interest in the person receiving the legacy. Only the enjoyment of the legacy is deferred or postponed.

In contemporary U.S. law the term vesting refers to the right that an employee acquires to various employer-contributed benefits, such as a Pension, after having been employed for a requisite number of years. The federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) of 1974 (29 U.S.C.A. § 1001 et seq.) governs the funding, vesting, administration, and termination of employee benefit plans. ERISA was enacted as a result of congressional dissatisfaction with private pension plans. Under some plans an employee's pension benefits did not vest before retirement or vested only after such a long period of time (as long as thirty years) that few employees ever became entitled to them. ERISA ensures that all pension benefits will vest within a reasonable time. Once pension benefits are vested, an employee has the right to them even if the employment relationship terminates before the employee retires.

In Constitutional Law vested rights are those that are so completely and definitely settled in a person that they are not subject to defeat or cancellation by the act of any other private person. Once a person can prove to a court the validity of the vested rights, the court will recognize and protect these rights so as to prevent injustice.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


v. to give an absolute right to title or ownership, including real property and pension rights. (See: vested, vested remainder)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.


Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

TO VEST, estates. To give an immediate fixed right of present or future enjoyment; an estate is vested in possession when there exists a right of present enjoyment; and an estate is vested in interest, when there is a present fixed right of future, enjoyment. Feame on Rem. 2; vide 2 Rop on Leg. 757; 8 Com. Dig. App. h.t.; 1 Vern. 323, n.; 10 Vin. Ab. 230; 1 Suppl. to Ves. jr. 200, 242, 315, 434; 2 Id. 157 5 Ves. 511.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
As far as we could figure out, the lunch apparently washed out of the pocket in the back of his fishing vest. There was a pretty strong current at the place where he was trying to swim to the north bank of the Big Muddy, and that was probably when his lunch washed away.
Full - who celebrated his 64th birthday on Friday - was dressed as a modern-day Indiana Jones with cargo pants, a fishing vest, boots and a bucket hat.
I probably could carry more if I wore my fishing vest, but I've found that when battling both a fish and the river current, having one Shih-Tzu in my pants is plenty.
When I ventured out, a boat cushion, canoe, wood paddle for stealth, bailing sponge, pre-rigged 8 1/2-foot fiberglass fly rod, well-stocked fishing vest, and a thermos of hot coffee were all that I needed for a morning's fishing.
Not only could the dress convert to a tent, its wearer could drop inside it and emerge wearing a fishing vest and holding the pole.
A J-frame S&W usually accompanies me on fishing trips and the Ammo Wallet keeps a small supply of wadcutter, hollow point and snake shot loads rattle free in my fishing vest. A version for rifle cartridges is also available, and it beats the heck out of loose cartridges rattling around in your pocket when hunting.
A fishing vest or fanny pack (wear it turned forward for easy access) is a good alternative.