An incomplete or undetermined state of affairs. From the French aboyer, which in figurative sense means to expect, to look for, to desire. When there is no person in esse in whom the freehold is vested, it is said to be in abeyance, that is, in expectation, remembrance and contemplation.
The law requires, however, that the freehold should never, if possible, be in abeyance. Where there is a tenant of the freehold, the remainder or reversion in fee may exist for a time without any particular owner, in which case it is said to be in abeyance.
Thus, if sn estate be limited to A for life, remainder to the right heirs of B, the fee simple is in abeyance during the life of B, because it is a maxim of law, that nemo est hoeres viventis.
Another example may be given in the case of a corporation. When a charter is given, and the charter grants franchises or property to a corporation which is to be brought into existence by some future acts of the corporators, such franchises or property are in abeyance until such acts shall be done, and when the corporation is thereby brought into life, the franchises instantaneously attach.