A mere hope, based upon no direct provision, promise, or trust. An expectancy is the possibility of receiving a thing, rather than having a vested interest in it.
The term has been applied to situations where an individual hopes and expects to receive something, generally property or money, but has no founded assurance of possession. A person named in a will as an heir has only an expectancy to inherit under the will, since there exists a possibility that the will may be altered so as to disinherit him or her.
Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationFree Legal Encyclopedia: Estate for years to Ex proprio motu (ex mero motu)