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

    That portion of a man's property which he is free to dispose of by wlll to beneficiaries other than his wife and children. By the ancient common law, this amounted to one-third of his estate if he was survived by both wife and children. 2 Bl. Comm. 492; Hopkins v. Wright, 17 Tex. 36. In the civil law (by the Lex Falcidia) it amounted to three-fourths. Mackeld. Rom. Law, ยงยง 708, 771.