mortmain

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mortmain

Literally means “dead hand.”Originally referred to statutes passed in England in 1279 and 1290 to prevent transfers of property to the Church, which would keep the land in its “dead hand” forever and prevent the king from ever realizing any tax income from it. In modern times, mortmain statutes invalidated deathbed gifts to charities, upon the theory that the recipient may have been guilty of undue influence by promises of a rosy hereafter, making the gift suspicious. Today, most such statutes have been repealed. (Unhappy heirs wishing to contest last-minute charitable gifts may use the general theory of undue influence to make their case.)

References in periodicals archive ?
Consider how much easier it would be to achieve a flexible workforce without the dead hand of regulation defining scopes of practice.
The Dead Hand analyses and documents two decades of Soviet and post-Soviet deception in nuclear and biological warfare preparations and US official, scientific, and journalistic ingenuity in uncovering, publicising, and countering the deceptions.
In many areas of administration, Bulgaria has languished too long under the dead hand of incompetence and complacency.
The Positive Alternative to Dead Hand Control: Charitable
Mr Dullsville is a dead hand whose mere presence seems to the suck the drama out of any tense situation.
The wastelands of dereliction in this city are not due to the hand of God, nor market forces, but socialist-type policies combined with the dead hand of council bureaucracy.
Chracterised by tactful and imaginative handling of light and views, Barajas has managed to break free from the dead hand of airport anomie.
A methodological point of considerable significance is Lindsey's use of qualitative evidence to show that statism refuses to die and is defended everywhere by vested interests and laws that are difficult to change, making the struggle between the dead hand and the invisible one a momentous issue of our time.
It's long over time for the dead hand of privilege and self agrandissment to be removed from the reins of a glorious sport.
Brink Lindsey, in his book Against the Dead Hand, points out that state-owned enterprises remain a major presence in 74 countries which have a total of two-thirds of the world's population.
Dead Hand argues that the headline problems of poverty, war, and more are far more insidious than any that can be blamed on business or any single cause because they emerge fundamentally from incorrect thinking about the relative merits of collectivism versus freedom, particularly free trade.
Workin' on the Chain Gang: Shaking off the Dead Hand of History