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A gift of Personal Property, such as money, stock, bonds, or jewelry, owned by a decedent at the time of death which is directed by the provisions of the decedent's will; a legacy.
A bequest is not the same as a devise (a testamentary gift of real property) although the terms are often used interchangeably. When this occurs, a bequest can be a gift of real property if the testator's intention to dispose of real property is clearly demonstrated in the will.
There are different types of bequests. A charitable bequest is a gift intended to serve a religious, educational, political, or general social purpose to benefit mankind, aimed at the community or a particular segment of it. Charitable bequests also reduce the estate taxes that might be owed on the estate left by a decedent.
A demonstrative bequest is a gift of money that must be paid from a particular source, such as a designated bank account or the sale of stock in a designated corporation.
A general bequest is a gift of money or other property that can be paid or taken from the decedent's general assets and not from a specific fund designated by the terms of the will.
n. the gift of personal property under the terms of a will. Bequests are not always outright, but may be "conditional" upon the happening or non-happening of an event (such as marriage), or "executory" in which the gift is contingent upon a future event. Bequest can be of specific assets or of the "residue" (what is left after specific gifts have been made). (See: will, legacy)
bequestnoun bequeathal, birthright, demise, devisal, devise, endowment, entail, gift, heirdom, heirloom, heritable, heritage, inheritance, legacy, testamentary disposition, testamentary gift
Associated concepts: bequest by implication, bequest for life, bequest in trust, devise, gift, inheritance
Foreign phrases: Nemo plus commodi haeredi suo relinquit quam ipse habuit.No one leaves a greater advantage for his heir than he himself had.
See also: benefit, contribute, contribution, devolution, donation, dower, endowment, estate, grant, hereditament, heritage, inheritance, legacy, supply
bequesta gift in a will.
BEQUEST. A gift by last will or testament; a legacy. (q. v.) This word is sometimes, though improperly used, as synonymous with devise. There is, however, a distinction between them. A bequest is applied, more properly, to a gift by will of a legacy, that is, of personal property; devise is properly a gift by testament of real property. Vide Devise.