Approbate and Reprobate Law and Legal Definition

Approbate and Reprobate means to accept and reject. It comes from the maxim quod approbo non reprobo "that which I approve, I cannot disapprove. It is mostly used in relation to wills. For example, if a testator gives his property to A and gives A’s property to B, A is not at a liberty to approve of the will so far as the legacy is given to him and reject the part bequeathing his property to B. In other words he cannot approve and reject the will at the same time. A person taking property under an instrument such as a will must accept the whole of the instrument. A person cannot "approbate" the will by accepting the benefit it confers and at the same time "reprobate" it, by denying the effect of its other terms which awards something to someone else. This principle of not approbating and reprobating is also known as the equitable doctrine of election.

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