Abeyance

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Abeyance

1. A situation in which a property's current or future owner is unknown, with the expectation of the true owner presenting himself/herself. For example, if one's will states that one's property shall go to one's youngest nephew at the time of one's death, the property is in abeyance because it is unknown whether the youngest nephew now will still be the youngest nephew when the will is executed.

2. A situation in which a law ceases to be in effect, with the expectation that it will become effective again. For example, in the immediate aftermath of a coup, a country's constitution may be said to be in abeyance.