A testator may adeem a devise via inter vivos transfer to the devisee. In other words, the testamentary provision is rendered inoperative by satisfaction. Ademption by satisfaction is comparable to the doctrine of advancements in the intestacy context. California has an ademption-by-satisfaction statute that applies to at-death transfers via trust as well as at-death transfers by will. See Sachs v. Sachs, 44 Cal.App.5th 59 (Cal. App. 2020). The Uniform Probate Code’s comparable ademption-by-satisfaction provision, specifically §2-609, applies only to transfers by will. That having been said, the inter-vivos gift itself need not be outright, “it can be in the form of a will substitute, such as designating…the beneficiary of the remainder interest in a revocable inter-vivos trust.” Id. cmt. In any case, an advancement feature in the at-death transfer provisions of a trust instrument has since time immemorial been routinely enforceable in equity. Statutory authority is not required.
Cross reference: Ademption by extinction in the trust context is taken up generally in §8.15.54 of Loring and Rounds: A Trustee’s Handbook [pages 1246-1249] of the 2020 Edition, which section is reproduced in its entirety in the Appendix below.