The status of real property, position, or title when its owner has not been vested in any existing person or party.
Abeyance refers to a state of expectancy regarding property, titles, or office when the rights to them have not been given to one person but for the determination and presentation of the valid owner of that property, title or, office. It is a state of undetermined ownership or lapse in a succession of ownership.
Abeyance occurs when the current owner of a property, title, or office does not declare or announce a beneficiary; instead, the new owner of that property, title, or office is determined through the outcome of a specific event in the future. This leaves the ownership of that property, office, or title unfilled or vacant.
Abeyance can mean a lapse in succession, a period that is often temporary. There is no person in whom that particular title is vested- it is a condition where the ownership of a property is in a state of suspension inactivity or expectancy. In summary, abeyance is a situation when the legitimate owner of a property, title, or office has not been decided or has not met up with the terms and conditions required to take over or inherit that property, title or office. Some of the terms and conditions that the beneficiary should meet are age, academic, or achievement requirements.
Examples of Abeyance
Example1. Emmanuel is a real estate agent. In the course of his work, he has been able to gather investments. Unfortunately, he died in an accident before he could prepare his will. His family members and children were in a fix as to who should inherit his properties. In this situation, his properties will be in abeyance until the court decides who should inherit the properties left behind by Emmanuel.
Example 2. Mr. Lawson has a trust fund that he left as part of his will for his only son, Doug, once he finishes college. Doug was in high school when he lost his father. However, because Doug has not completed college, the trust fund will be at abeyance until Doug attains that stage, i.e., he finishes college. Until then, Doug cannot claim ownership of the trust funds, and no one else can.
Example 3. Mrs. Salako is a businesswoman with investments in different sectors. However, she does not have children of her own, but because she believes that it is still possible for her to give birth in the future, she decided to leave her properties for her child/children for a date in the future. In this case, abeyance exists because there is no one to whom Mrs. Salako can easily declare those properties' future ownership.
History of Abeyance
The word abeyance stems from a French word that means "have a longing or a future expectation." Abeyance had the same terms that apply to real estate and property as it does today. While wills and trusts are essential, many people do not have a written will or do not expect to need one anytime soon. When a death occurs, and the party does not have a will or trust in place, a person in authority grants an abeyance order, usually a judge. The abeyance is in effect until the claim of ownership can be determined.