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 Today, most such statutes have been repealed.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 ?
He puts the reader right in the action--in the control room during false alarm tracking of the Dead Hand and in the autopsy room while doctors discover black lesions and swollen lymph nodes that point to anthrax exposure.
The first revolution happened because a large number of mostly non-Islamist Egyptian youths grew fed up with the suffocating dead hand of the Mubarak era -- a hand so dead that way too many young Egyptians felt they were living in a rigged system, where they had no chance of realizing their full potential, under a leader with no vision.
Jim Carrey has done a hilarious impersonation of the late actor and gun enthusiast Charlton Heston in a spoof song called Cold Dead Hands.
Consider how much easier it would be to introduce new types of health worker without the dead hand of regulation clutching for evidence of their safety to practise.
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.
They will have to pry the scissors from his cold, dead hand"then why bother with ballot initiatives?
Other Pulitzer literary categories include History which was won by Liaquat Ahamed for Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World; the Biography prize was awarded to T J Stiles for The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt; in Poetry Rae Armantrout was awarded the prize for Versed; and the General Non-fiction category was won by David E Hoffman for The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy.
To Theroux fans, much of what he writes in A Dead Hand: A Crime in Calcutta may be reassuringly familiar.
The text explores the extent to which the dead can rule over the living--how much legal power the "dead hand" has, how much the dead hand can control, and whether the dead hand is getting weaker or stronger--all of which raises questions about the legal fate of dynastic, long-term arrangements.
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
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.