Residuary Clause Law & Legal Definition


Residuary Clause refers to a clause in a will that disposes of any estate property that remains after satisfaction of all other gifts.

It is a rule of testamentary construction that a residuary clause will be made to yield to a specific, inconsistent provision to the contrary, especially if the latter is subsequent. If there is a conflict between two clauses that cannot be reconciled, the later clause must prevail. [Fowlkes v. Clay, 205 Ala. 523, 525 (Ala. 1921)]

Where the residuary clause of a will disposes of the remainder of the estate to the named legatees in certain proportions, a devisee named in the will is not included in the residuary disposition unless it clearly appears from the whole will that he was intended to be included, and that the word "legatee" was not used in its established legal sense.[Hobbs v. Brenneman, 94 W. Va. 320 (W. Va. 1923)]

The following is an example of a residuary clause in a will:

"I will, devise, bequeath and give all the rest and remainder of my property and estate of every kind and character, including, but not limited to, real and personal property in which I may have an interest at the date of my death and which is not otherwise effectively disposed of, to ..."