Cy Pres Doctrine

Definition - What does Cy Pres Doctrine mean?

"Cy pres" is a French term that means “as close as possible” or "as near as possible."

The cy pres doctrine is used in will and trust law. It states that wills and trusts must be carried out as closely as possible to the wishes of the party who made the trust or will.

There are often disputes about donations from trusts and wills that must be dealt with by the courts. The courts then use the cy pres doctrine in these cases.

Justipedia explains Cy Pres Doctrine

Often, the wills and trusts that people leave cannot be carried out exactly as they are written. For example, if the grantor of a trust orders the trust to give $100,000 to a specific environmental charity, and that charity shuts down, then the money would have to be given to another charity—one that's closely related to the original environmental charity. If such an issue was placed in front of a court, then it would use the cy pres doctrine to determine which other charity should receive the money.

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