What is a specific bequest?
A specific bequest is a statement in the Will that a certain asset or specific amount of money is given to beneficiary(ies). You may make specific gifts of cash, real estate, or tangible personal property to specific people or charities in your Will. However, these bequests will be distributed first and may deplete your estate. Also, specific bequests lapse if the property given cannot be found at your death. Therefore, if you make specific bequests, only give property or amounts of cash that you are reasonably sure you will have when you die. If you make no specific bequests, all of your property will pass to your primary beneficiaries, or what we call residuary beneficiaries.
A specific bequest is a gift that is made by a testator for a particular heir. An example is a line in a will that states something along the lines of “$100,000 to my nephew Steven.” Specific bequests are given priority and are satisfied before the residuary estate is distributed.
A bequest is a specific, limited gift of either money or property in a Will or trust. Unlike the provisions you make for your spouse and/or any dependants – usually a portion of your estate and made up of many items or investments – bequests are specific amounts of money or items of some value, either sentimental or financial. Any amount of money or item you leave to another person is called a bequest and the person receiving the bequest is called a beneficiary.