Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Ballentine's Law Dictionary

    A disposition of real property by will.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    A testamentary disposition of land or realty; a gift of real property by the last will and testament of the donor. Scholle v. Scholle, 113 N. Y. 261, 21 N. E. 84; Fere-bee v. Procter, 19 N. C. 440; Pratt v. McGhee, 17 S, C. 428; In re Fetrow's Estote, 58 Pa. 427; Jenkins v. Tobin, 31 Ark. 306; In re Dailey's Estate, 43 Misc. Rep. 552, 89 N. Y. Supp. 541. Synonyms. The term "devise" is properly restricted to real property, and is not applicable to testamentary dispositions of personal property, which are properly called "bequests" or "legacies." But this distinction will not be allowed in law to defeat the purpose of a testator; and all of these terms may be construed interchangeably or applied indifferently to either real or personni property, if the context shows that such was the intention of the testator. Ladd v. Harvey, 21 N. H. 528; Borgner v. Brown, 133 Ind. 391, 33 N. E. 92; Oothout v. Rogers, 59 Hun, 97, 13 N. Y. Supp. 120; McCorkle v. Sherrill, 41 N. C. 176. Classification. Devises are contingent or vested; that is, after the death of the testator Contingent, when the vesting of any estate in the devisee is made to depend upon some future event, in which case, if the event never occur, or until it does occur, no estate vests under the devise. But, when the future event is referred to merely to determine the time at which the devisee shall come into the use of the estate, this does not hinder the vesting of the estate at the death of the testator. 1 Jarm. Wilis, c. 26. Devises are also classed as general or specific. A general devise is one which passes lands of the testator without a particular enumeration or description of them; as, a devise of "all my lands" or "all my other lands." In a more restricted sense, a general devise is one which grants a parcel of land without the addition of any words to show how great an estate is meant to be given, or without words indicating either a grant in perpetuity or a grant for a limited term ; in this case it is construed as granting a life estate. Hitch v. Patten, 8 Houst. (Del.) 334, 16 Atl. 558, 2 hR,A, 724. Specific devises are devises of lands particularly specified in the terms of the devise, as opposed to general and residuary devises of land, in which the local or other particular descriptions are not expressed. For example, "I devise my Hendon Hall estate" is a specific devise; but "I devise ali my lands," or, "all other my lands," is a general devise or a residuary devise. But all devises are (in effect) specific, even residuary devises being so. L. R. 3 Ch. 420; Id. 136. A conditional devise is one which depends upon the occurrence of some uncertain event, by which it is either to take effect or be defeated. Civ. Code Cal. § 1345. An executory devise of lands is such a disposition of them by will that thereby no estate vests at the death of the devisor, but only on some future contingency. It differs from a remainder in three very material points:
    (1) That it needs not any particular estate to support it;
    (2) that by ft a fee-simple or other less estate may be limited after a fee-simple;
    (3) that by this means a remainder may be limited of a chattel interest, after a particular estate for life created in the same. 2 Bl. Comm. 172. In a stricter sense, a limitation by will of a future contingent interest in lands, contrary to the rules of the common law. 4 Kent, Comm. 263; 1 Steph. Comm. 564. A limitation by will of a future estate or interest in land, which can-apt, consistently with the rules of law, take effect as a remainder. 2 Pow. Dev. (by Jarman,) 237. See Poor v. Considine, 6 Wall. 474, l8 In Eld. 869; Bristol v. Atwater, 50 Conn. 406 ; Mangum v. Piester, 16 S. C. 325; Civ. Code Ga. 1895, § 3339; Thompson v. Hoop, 6 Ohio St. 487 ; Burleigh v. Clough, 52 N. H. 273, 13 Am. Rep. 23; In re Brown's Estate, 38 Pa. 294; Glover v. Condell, 163 111. 566, 45 N. E. 173, 35 Lb R. A. 360. Lapsed devise. A devise which' fails, or takes no effect, in consequence of the death of the devisee before the testator; the subject-matter of it being considered as not disposed of by the will. 1 Steph. Comm. 559; 4 Kent, Comm. 541. Murphy v. MeKeon, 53 N. J. Eq. 406, 32 Atl. 374. Residuary devise. A devise of all the residue of the testator's reni property, that is, all that remains over and above the other devises.