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A class gift is a gift to a group of persons as an entity and not to each person in the group. The use of individual names with the class designation will be presumed as a gift to those individuals barring any other indication of intent. The consequence of finding a class gift in relation to lapse is as follows: If the gift is to individuals, they each get a pro-rata share, if the gift is to the class, the surviving class members take the entire devise. As for the application of lapse statutes to class gifts, there are three views. Some courts do not apply lapse statutes to class gifts. Other courts apply the lapse statute if a class member is alive or born after the execution of the will and then dies before the testator. Others apply lapse statutes to class gifts.


The general rule under the Rule Against Perpetuities for class gifts is: A class gift is void for all members of the class if the interest of any member can vest too remotely. A class gift to children does not include grandchildren. A class gift to children does not include step-children. A class gift ...

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