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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 ?
One time, we were working on a dress for Kylie and he sent me around the corner to the market to buy eight string vests for pounds 1 each.
Unless that's what osmosis is - a wet bloke in a string vest leaking.
Fellow Tory councillor John Alden, who has from time to time been mentioned as a leadership contender, is also a famous string vest wearer.
I very much doubt it though, Paul dresses much more fashionably than I do, I could never see him rolling up to work in a string vest and low slung jogging bottoms!
"They laugh at me at home, they reckon one day they'll find me on the sofa in my boxers and string vest with chocolate stains around my mouth."
The 'Rehab' hitmaker saw herself in ripped denim shorts, string vest and black T-shirt, bearing a pained expression with cuts all over her legs in the snap.
They got a string vest, and they were allowed to buy another one for 7s 6d.(37p) "Now this team is regarded as the greatest rugby league team in the world."
Although widely considered to be the height of sartorial naffness - think Rab C Nesbitt here - documents released by the National Archives this week claim that prejudice against the string vest may be shortsighted.
As the UK's global prestige faced peril in the weeks leading up to the Suez Crisis, one Government department pinned its hopes for success in Egypt on a very British secret weapon - the string vest.
This plot line is as water-tight as a string vest. Graham wants 10 grand to drop all charges against Charlie.
As far as plots go this one is a bit of a string vest, full of holes, but if you suspend credulity, and just sit back and enjoy then it easily fulfils the first objective of farce - it is very funny.