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Demonstrative Legacy

A gift by will of money or other PERSONAL PROPERTY that is to be paid to an heir from a fund designated in the provisions of the will but, in any event, is to be paid if there are sufficient available assets in the estate.

A demonstrative legacy differs from a specific legacy, a gift of particular personal property by will. A demonstrative legacy is payable from the general assets of the estate that have not been specifically devised or bequeathed if its designated source has been adeemed or no longer exists or if it is inadequate to satisfy the gift. In the case of a specific legacy the ADEMPTION of property revokes the gift completely so that the heir receives nothing. However, if the value of the gift has only been reduced, the heir receives the decreased value.

Courts often interpret provisions of a will that appear to grant specific legacies of money or shares of stock as demonstrative legacies to avoid the consequences of ademption where it is clear that the testator intended the gift to be made in any event.

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Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationFree Legal Encyclopedia: Deed of covenant to Direct Tax