Words of Purchase Law and Legal Definition
A word of purchase is a language seen in a will which refers to the persons who are to receive the grant under the will. For instance, the word ‘children’, in its primary or natural sense, is always a word of purchase, and not a word of limitation; and the word ‘issue’ is very frequently a word of purchase also. Similarly, when the ancestor by any gift or conveyance takes an estate of freehold, and in the same gift or conveyance an estate is limited, either moderately or immediately to his heirs in fee or in tail, ‘the heirs’ are words of limitation of the estate and not words of purchase.
In Powell v. Board of Domestic Missions, 49 Pa. 46 (Pa. 1865), the court observed that “There is a less degree of presumption against construing the word "issue" a word of purchase, than against construing the words "heirs of the body" to be words of purchase, and a still less degree of presumption against that construction of the word "issue," than against the same construction of the word "heirs" generally; so that, prima facie, the word "issue" is more likely to be a word of purchase than the words "heirs of the body," and still more likely than the word "heirs" generally.”