The failure of a bequest from a will because the property is no longer in the estate. For example, if the decedent leaves "My car to my niece", but owns no car at the time of death.
What the beneficiary actually receives in these situations depends on the testator's(person who wrote the will) intent, the gift that failed, and state law.
Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary
The failure of a bequest of property in a will. The gift fails (is "adeemed") because the person who made the will no longer owns 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. If a bequest is adeemed, the beneficiary named in the will might be out of luck; it depends on state law. For example, say Mark writes in his will, "I leave to Rob my Honda Accord," but then trades in the Accord for a new hybrid. When Mark dies, Rob might get nothing or might receive the hybrid, depending on state law. States that have adopted the Uniform Probate Code generally allow a beneficiary to get something in this situation. (See also: ademption by satisfaction
Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.
August 19, 2010, 5:10 pm