We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Condition Precedent?

By Christy Bieber
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
MyLawQuestions is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At MyLawQuestions, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A condition precedent is a legal term for something that must occur before another thing occurs. In other words, it is a condition that must precede or predate a specified event. It is, in effect, the catalyst that causes something else to occur.

The idea of a condition precedent is common in contract law. A contract can stipulate that something will occur if and only if another event occurs. That other specified event is the condition precedent.

If there is a dispute as to whether the condition was fulfilled, a court can resolve the dispute by looking at the language in the contract describing the condition precedent. The court can then determine whether the condition was fulfilled. When including condition precedents in either contracts or wills, the terms of the condition must be clear.

This means that the contract or legal document must state exactly what the condition is. If the condition is not clearly stated, the court must interpret the condition in light of the parties' intent. The court normally looks at the legal document as a whole in order to determine if the condition was fulfilled.

A condition precedent is also common in estate planning, and in establishing trusts. For example, a parent can set up a trust for his her her child, but make receipt of the money in the trust based on the child fulfilling a condition. This condition is referred to as the condition precedent on inheritance.

Such a condition can also be established in a will. For example, a parent can stipulate that a child is to inherit only if that child is married at the time, or if that child has graduated from college. Likewise, in a trust context, a parent can stipulate that a child is to begin earning income or receiving assets from the trust only upon fulfilling certain criteria.

The criteria that the child must fulfill, such as graduating form college, is thus a condition that must precede inheritance. These conditions can be anything that a person wishes, as long as they do not violate public policy. For example, a parent could not stipulate that a child must commit murder before inheriting, because fulfilling the condition would violate the law.

When a condition is stated as a requirement for something to occur, normally the contract or other legal doctrine will stipulate what happens if the condition is not fulfilled. For example, if a contract becomes active only when a condition is fulfilled, the terms of the contract will often state what is to happen if the condition is never fulfilled. The same is true when condition precedents are included in wills or trust documents.

MyLawQuestions is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
MyLawQuestions, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

MyLawQuestions, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.