nearest heirs

nearest heirs
A term of art, ordinarily constituting words of limitation; words of purchase where it appears that the testator used them, not with technical accuracy, but inartificially to denote particular persons. 28 Am J2d Est § 118; 57 Am J1st Wills § 1398. There is some conflict in the cases as to the effect of the word "nearest" when prefixed to "heir" or a similar term in a testamentary gift. Some of the cases hold that such a phrase includes all the heirs at law of the testator, while others take the view that the word "nearest" confines the gift to heirs at law of the class standing nearest in blood to the testator, excluding all others. However, the variation in the phrases construed and the context in which they are used make it impossible to formulate a definite rule from the decisions. Anno: 11 ALR 329.

Ballentine's law dictionary. . 1998.

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