vest

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Vest

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.

vest

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.

vest

see VESTING.
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 classic literature ?
When they had a trench of ample size to bury the chest, Tarrant suggested that they enlarge it and inter Snipes' body on top of the chest.
Earth was shovelled in and tramped down about the chest until the bottom of the grave showed level and uniform.
Caswall came to the conclusion that there had been some sort of dual action of his mind, which might lead to some catastrophe or some discovery of his secret plans; so he resolved to forgo for a while the pleasure of making discoveries regarding the chest. To this end, he applied himself to quite another matter--an investigation of the other treasures and rare objects in his collections.
From the chest he drew a coil of rope and a big bundle of canvas, and with these--still humming his song--he rigged up a sail, arranging it so it could be raised or lowered upon the mast.
I paid my cabman handsomely, gave a florin to the stout fellow in livery whom he helped with the chest, and could have pressed gold upon the genial clerk who laughed like a gentleman at my jokes about the Liverpool winners and the latest betting on the Family Plate.
In the workshop Bududreen and his men had easily located the chest. Dragging it into the north campong the Malay was about to congratulate himself upon the ease with which the theft had been accomplished when one of his fellows declared his intention of going to the house for the purpose of dispatching Professor Maxon, lest the influence of his evil eye should overtake them with some terrible curse when the loss of the chest should be discovered.
A glance at the old chest, as she turned away from this examination, was not without its use; she scorned the causeless fears of an idle fancy, and began with a most happy indifference to prepare herself for bed.
As long as you keep up your end, I'll sail with you to the Pit 'n' back an' watch you sweatin' the casks 'n' chests out of the sand.
For aught I know he has gone to sea once more on his chest, and may land to bother some people on the other side of the world; though it's a thousand pities," added he, "if he has gone to Davy Jones's[1] locker, that he had not left his own locker[2] behind him."
"There my lords will find a nook, and three stone chests in the nook, two sealed and one open."
But in the hut her mother was waiting for her return, and as she grew impatient she said to her husband: 'Get out the horses, old man, to go and fetch her home; but see that you are careful not to upset the sledge and lose the chest.'
"Because he could not spend it," said Tabitha; "for as often as he went to unlock the chest, the Old Scratch came behind and caught his arm.