Vest – to confer ownership to or give fixed right of present or future enjoyment (of property) to a person

vb. (15c)

1. To confer ownership (of property) on a person.

2. To invest (a person) with the full title to property.

3. To give (a person) an immediate, fixed right of present or future enjoyment.

4. Hist. To put (a person) into possession of land by the ceremony of investiture. — vesting, n. ‘

vested, adj. (18c) Having become a completed, consummated right for present or future enjoyment; not contingent; unconditional; absolute <a vested interest in the estate>. ‘ ‘

“[U]nfortunately, the word ‘vested’ is used in two senses. Firstly, an interest may be vested in possession, when there is a right to present enjoyment, e.g. when I own and occupy Blackacre. But an interest may be vested, even where it does not carry a right to immediate possession, if it does confer a Fixed right of taking possession in the future.” George Whitecross Paton, A Textbook of Jurisprudence 305 (G.W. Paton & David P. Derham eds., 4th ed. 1972).

“A future interest is vested if it meets two requirements: first, that there be no condition precedent to the interest’s becoming a present estate other than the natural expiration of those estates that are prior to it in possession; and second, that it be theoretically possible to identify who would get the right to possession if the interest should become a present estate at any time.” Thomas F. Bergin & Paul G. Haskell, Preface to Estates in Land and Future

Interests 66~67 (2d ed. 1984).

> vested in interest. (18c) Consummated in a way that will result in future possession and use. 0 Reversions. vested remainders, and any other future use or executory devise that does not depend on an uncertain period or event are all said to be vested in interest.

vested in possession. (18c) Consummated in a way th has resulted in present enjoyment.

Vested estate. See ESTATE (1).

Vested gift. See GIFT. vested interest. See INTEREST (2).

vested legacy. See LEGACY. vested ownership. See OWNERSHIP.

vested pension. See PENSION. vested remainder. See REMAINDER (1).

vested remainder subject to complete defeasement. See vested remainder subject to total divestment under REMAINDER.

vested remainder subject to total divestment. See REMAINDER.

vested right. See RIGHT.

vested-rights doctrine. (1924) Constitutional law. The rule that the legislature cannot take away a right that has been vested by a social compact or by a court’s judgment; esp, the principle that it is beyond the province of Congress to reopen a final judgmentissued by an Article III court. ~ Also termed doctrine of vested rights.

“The doctrine of vested rights most often found expression in the early national era by its infL’Ision into the obligation of contracts clause in Article I, Section 10, of the Constitution. It was in this connection that the doctrine achieved its most positive and specific limitations upon legislative authority. Vanhorne’s Lessee v. Dorrance (1795), wherein Justice Paterson condemned a Pennsylvania statute as a violation of the ‘primary object of the social compact,’ the protection of property, arose under the contract clause. It will be recalled that the doctrine was again identified with the contract clause in Fletcher v Peck (1810) and in Dartmouth College v. Woodward (1819). And again, in Terrett v. Taylor (1815), a case involving Virginia’s attempt to take title to certain lands of the disestablished Episco al Church, Justice Story discoursed at length upon the octrine of vested rights, which he identified with the contract clause in imposing limitation upon the state’s legislative authority. in brief, in the early nineteenth century the contract clause played somewhat the same role in the embodiment of the doctrine of vested rights as the due process clause was to play after 1890.” Alfred H. Kelly & Winfred A. Harbison, The American Constitution 471 (5th ed. 1976).


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[1]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black, Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-61300-4


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