act of independent significance

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act of independent significance (plural acts of independent significance)

  1. (law) A doctrine in the law of wills under which a testator may effectively change the disposition of his property without changing the text of the will, so long as the acts or events changing the disposition have some significance other than avoiding the requirements of the will.
    • Examples: An individual writes a will leaving property to "my employees"; after the will has been executed, he fires some people and hires others; if the hiring and firing is not done for the purpose of effecting who will inherit under the will, these are acts of independent significance; the fired people will receive nothing, and the newly hired people will inherit as employees.