Mortmain Law and Legal Definition

Mortmain is a term used in connection with unlawful alienation of lands or tenements to any corporation such as schools, churches or charitable organizations. The perpetual ownership of the property will be inherent in one dead hand usually religious groups that cannot transfer or sell it.. Mortmain is usually used in connection with prohibition of such alienations. Mortmain is employed to designate all prohibitory laws restraining or annuling gifts, grants, or devises of lands and other corporeal hereditaments to charitable uses.