Nolo's Plain-English Law Dictionary


The failure of a bequest of property in a will. The gift fails (is "adeemed") because the person who made the will no longer owns the property when he or she dies. Often this happens because the property has been sold, destroyed, or given away to someone other than the beneficiary named in the will. If a bequest is adeemed, the beneficiary named in the will might be out of luck; it depends on state law. For example, say Mark writes in his will, "I leave to Rob my Honda Accord," but then trades in the Accord for a new hybrid. When Mark dies, Rob might get nothing or might receive the hybrid, depending on state law. States that have adopted the Uniform Probate Code generally allow a beneficiary to get something in this situation. (See also: ademption by satisfaction)