Acts of Independent Significance Law and Legal Definition

Under the doctrine of acts of independent significance, a testator can change the disposition of his property without changing the will. It permits a testator to change the provisions of the will without having to execute a codicil. The act provides that as long as the act referenced in the will has its own significance independent of its effect upon testator’s probate property, the referenced act can control without the testator having to execute a codicil. This doctrine is applied :

1 where a testator who controls the membership devises assets to a class of beneficiaries.

2 where a testator devises a general type of property and then changes the specific items of property within that category.