Legal definition of incorporate by reference
Car Accidents Legal Terminology

incorporate by reference

A doctrine of the common law, by which a person may state in his will that certain property is to be disposed of by a separate document, describing the place where the document will be found.

Three requirements must generally be met in order for such a document to be given effect:

1.It must have existed at the time the will was executed.
2.The will must describe the document with particularity, so that it may be identified.
3.The will must clearly manifest the intent that the document be incorporated.

An exception to the first requirement is made for small gifts of tangible personal property, such as household furniture and items of sentimental value.

Oral instructions can not be used as incorporation by reference. If the testator writes in the will that she has recited to a friend the intended disposition of her property, that attempt to circumvent the requirements of a written will is void.

Incorporating by reference is also used in complaints, answers and other litigation documents to avoid repeating facts and allegations previously stated.
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