cy pres doctrine
A doctrine used to give a gift to a similar beneficiary when the true beneficiary no longer exists or is not available. The cy pres doctrine is most often used with charitable gifts when the charity named in an estate planning document no longer exists. In that case, the trustee or court may use the cy pres doctrine to give the gift to a similar charity to match the donor's intention as closely as possible.
Category: Wills, Trusts & Estates

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.

cy pres doctrine
n.
   (see-pray doctrine) from French, meaning "as close as possible." When a gift is made by will or trust (usually for charitable or educational purposes), and the named recipient of the gift does not exist, has dissolved or no longer conducts the activity for which the gift is made, then the estate or trustee must make the gift to an organization which comes closest to fulfilling the purpose of the gift. Sometimes this results in heated court disputes in which a judge must determine the appropriate substitute to receive the gift. Example: dozens of local Societies for Protection of Cruelty to Animals contested for a gift which was made without designating which chapter would receive the benefits. The judge wisely divided up the money among several S.P.C.A. chapters.

Law dictionary. . 2013.

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