LAPSE (Lat. lapsus, a slip or departure), in law, a term used in several senses, (i) In ecclesiastical law, when a patron has neglected to present to a void benefice within six months next after the avoidance, the right of presentation is said to lapse. In such case the patronage or right of presentation devolves from the neglectful patron to the bishop as ordinary, to the metropolitan as superior and to the sovereign as patron paramount. (2) The failure of a testamentary disposition in favour of any person, by reason of the decease of its object in the testator's lifetime, is termed a lapse. See LEGACY, WILL.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)