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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.

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


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)

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


a gift in a will.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

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.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
'We see a widening gap between rich and poor in many societies, an increase in the volumes of bequests and a strong increase in land value,' Edenhofer explained.
This article discusses items CPAs and their clients should consider to better protect donor-restricted bequests. It uses the experiences from the restricted bequest made by the Othmers to LICH as an example of what can happen to restricted bequests without strong protections.
* The Jane Bibber Bequest has fueled one branch's local activism for many years.
For bequests, the date of receipt is the date the bequest is distributed from the trust or estate, except when it passes by operation of law or a beneficiary designation, in which cases the date of receipt is the date of death.
Hurd, Michael D., "Mortality Risk and Bequests," Econometrica, July 1989, 57 (4), 779-813.
McGregor-Lowndes and Hannah (2008) argue that family provision legislation has presented difficulties for others, such as charities, to benefit from bequests. In some Australian jurisdictions, there has been an expansion over time of who is entitled to claim as an eligible person and subsequent concerns about rates of contestation.
102(a) states that gross income shall not include the value of property acquired by gift, bequest, devise or inheritance (a "gratuitous transfer").
Intuitively, although delaying the purchase of life insurance can help individuals to determine the appropriate level of insurance, in concordance with their known bequest demand, one must still pay the extra insurance premium if one's demand turns out to be high.
A charitable bequest is simply a distribution of funding from your estate, through your last will and testament, to a charitable organization that you support, e.g., an organization whose mission is to advocate for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The funding successful scholarship or grant applicants get comes from the interest earned on the bequests and donations NERF receives.
"You need to advertise you're open for business and ready to accept bequests," he said.