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The FindLaw Legal Dictionary -- free access to over 8260 definitions of legal terms. Search for a definition or browse our legal glossaries.



benefit n

1 : something that provides an advantage or gain
: an enhancement of property value, enjoyment of facilities, or increase in general prosperity arising from a public improvement

general benefit
: a benefit to the community at large resulting from a public improvement

special benefit
: a benefit from a public improvement that directly enhances the value of particular property and is not shared by the community at large NOTE: In proceedings for a partial taking for the purpose of a public improvement, the condemning authority may use a special benefit to the remaining land as a set-off against the landowner's damages for the taking.
2 in the civil law of Louisiana
: a right esp. that serves to limit a person's liability

benefit of dis·cus·sion
: the right of a surety being sued to compel the suing creditor to sue the principal first

benefit of di·vi·sion
: the right of a surety being sued to compel the suing creditor to also sue the cosureties
: the right of the surety to be liable only for his or her proportionate share of the debt

benefit of inventory
: the right of an heir to be held liable for the debts of the estate only to the extent of the assets in the estate NOTE: The heir obtains the benefit of inventory by having a qualified public officer (as a notary public) make an inventory of the assets in the estate within the time period set by statute.
3 a : financial help in time of disability, sickness, old age, or unemployment
b : payment or service provided for under an annuity, pension plan, or insurance policy see also death benefit
c : fringe benefit
benefit vb

Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.

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