Ademption

Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary

Definition: Ademption


Quick Summary of Ademption


Ademption is the situation, where a property bequeathed to a person at the time of writing of a will, cannot be transferred to him or her upon the death of the will-maker (testator) because it is no longer belongs to the testator’s estate. Ademption may be a result of the destruction, loss, or sale of the bequest in the intervening period.



What is the dictionary definition of Ademption?

Dictionary Definition


legal In the law of wills, Ademption is the determination of what happens when property left under a will is no longer in the testator’s estate when the testator dies.

The failure of a bequest of property in a will. The gift fails (is “adeemed”) because the person who made the will no longer own 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. A bequest may also be adeemed when the will-maker, while still living, gives the property to the intended beneficiary (called “ademption by satisfaction”). When a bequest is adeemed, the beneficiary named in the will is out of luck; he or she doesn’t get cash or a different item of property to replace the one that was described in the will. For example, Mark writes in his will, “I leave to Rob the family vehicle,” but then trades in his car in for a jet ski. When Mark dies, Rob will receive nothing. Frustrated beneficiaries may challenge an ademption in court, especially if the property was not clearly identified in the first place.


Full Definition of Ademption


Ademption, or ademption by extinction, is a common law doctrine used in the law of wills to determine what happens when property bequeathed under a will is no longer in the testator’s estate at the time of the testator’s death. For a devise of a specific item of property such property is considered “adeemed”, and the gift fails. For example, if a will bequeathed the testator’s car to a specific beneficiary, but the testator owned no car at the time of his or her death, the gift would be “adeemed” and the aforementioned beneficiary would receive no gift at all.


Synonyms For Ademption


abstraction, capture, withdrawal, reception, apprehension

Cite Term


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Ademption. PayrollHeaven.com. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. December 02, 2020 https://payrollheaven.com/define/ademption/.
Chicago Manual of Style (CMS):
Ademption. PayrollHeaven.com. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. https://payrollheaven.com/define/ademption/ (accessed: December 02, 2020).
American Psychological Association (APA):
Ademption. PayrollHeaven.com. Retrieved December 02, 2020, from PayrollHeaven.com website: https://payrollheaven.com/define/ademption/

Definition Sources


Definitions for Ademption are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 22nd April, 2020 | 4 Views.