Advancement is subject to different meanings, but in estate law, it
refers to an irrevocable gift made by a person to one of his or her children
or heirs in anticipation of a gift from the still-living parent’s potential
estate as an advance payment on one’s inheritance. Advancements are deducted
from the child’s eventual share of the estate. There is often a problem
involving proof that the advanced sum was meant to be applied against the
future inheritance. Therefore, it is recommended that a person making an
advancement should leave put the intention that the payment is an advancement
in writing or get a signed receipt. Gifts made shortly before death are
more likely to be treated as an advancement than one made several years
earlier. Advancement may also be used more generally to refer to an early payout of an amount due in the future.