When you created your will, you left a gift of specific property to someone. Perhaps you decided to leave your valuable coin collection to your nephew, your heirloom silver to your daughter, or your diamond ring to your sister. You had every intention of having the property available for your loved one when you died. However, circumstances have changed. You may have fallen on hard times and had to sell the property, you may have been robbed, or the property may have been lost.
Ademption: When There Is No Gift Left to Give
Ademption is a legal term that means that there is no gift or property left to give. Regardless of your intentions at the time you created your will, the reality of your situation may change between the time that you create your will and the time that you die. It is important to plan for this potential circumstance and protect your beneficiaries.
If your will currently leaves specific bequests without taking into account the possibility of ademption, then you might want to amend your will. For example, your will may leave your coin collection to your nephew and if you no longer own the coin collection at the time of your death, he can receive property of equal value. Then, your nephew will be able to inherit property from you even if you no longer have the coin collection.
Do You Need to Amend Your Will to Account for Ademption?
It depends on how your will was written. The first step is to take a close look at the terms of your will to see if any gift will fail if you no longer own specific property. If there is no bequest that is in danger of ademption then you may not need to make any modifications. However, if there are certain gifts that you are concerned about then you should take the necessary steps to modify your will as soon as possible. Browse our free articles for more information on how to make the appropriate modifications.