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Ademption

Extinction

Ademption by extinction occurs when a particular item of PERSONAL PROPERTY or specially designated real property is substantially changed or not part of the testator's estate when he or she dies. For example, a testator makes a will giving her farm to her nephew and a diamond watch to her niece. Before she dies, she sells the farm and loses the watch. The proceeds of the sale of the farm are traced to a bank account. After the testator's death, the nephew claims the proceeds from the sale and the niece claims that the executor of the estate should pay her the value of the diamond watch. Neither claim will be upheld. Once the farm is sold, the specific devise is adeemed by extinction. The proceeds from its sale are not its equivalent for inheritance purposes. In some states, however, if all of the proceeds had not yet been paid, the nephew would be entitled to receive the unpaid balance.

Since the testator no longer owns the diamond watch when she dies, that specific bequest is also adeemed by extinction.

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