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Cy-Pres

doctrine, charitable, gift and applied

CY-PRES, sepia (Old Norman French for gas near as possible)), the principle in the Anierican and English law whereby a gift legal in form, which cannot be administered exactly as the testator specified, or which is not defi nitely specified, may be applied )as nearly as possible,* according to the intention of the donor. Cy-pres is a doctrine of the early com mon law, by which, if gifts were made for charitable uses that were illegal or contrary to public policy or that were impossible to be car ried into effect, the king, as general supervisor of charities, or the chancellor acting for him, could devote them to such other charitable pur poses, )cy-pres or as near as possible) as in tended in the original gift. This power does not exist in the United States; the majority of cases wherein the cy-pres doctrine is applied comes under charitable bequests on gifts for the advancement of education. In the United States it is held that the equity courts cannot make valid charities which are uncertain, but where charitable trusts have once been in part administered as directed by the testator, such action will prevent the trust from being de feated by change of circumstances. Where only a general charitable intention is expressed, as, relief of the poor, aid for the injured, under the cy-pres doctrine the court may direct the disposal of the gift to some form of charity °as nearly as possible) like that mentioned or indicated by the testamentary gift of the tes tator. The laws based on the cy-pres doctrine

vary in different States. For instance, in the case affecting a Universalist Convention of Ala bama, it was ruled that the doctrine of cy-pres is not recognized in Alabama, as being based on the prerogative power of the king of Eng land, recognized and administered by the Eng lish Court of Chancery with reference to trusts. The doctrine of cy-pres is recognized in New Jersey but cannot be applied where the donor himself has directed what disposition shall be made of the trust property in the event of a failure of the charitable use to which he has directed it to be devoted. In a case affecting the Presbytery of Jersey City, N. J., a trust, which is declared or public worship and in struction for the benefit of an indefinite num ber of persons according to the Presbyterian faith and polity, is enforceable either exactly or, under the doctrine of cy-pres, approximately. For further ways in which the cy-pres doctrine is applied compare ESTATE; FEE-TAIL.