What is Abeyance?

Legal Definition
Abeyance (from the Old French abeance meaning "gaping") is a state of expectancy in respect of property, titles or office, when the right to them is not vested in any one person, but awaits the appearance or determination of the true owner. In law, the term abeyance can only be applied to such future estates as have not yet vested or possibly may not vest. For example, an estate is granted to A for life, with remainder to the heir of B. During B's lifetime, the remainder is in abeyance, for until the death of B it is uncertain who is B's heir. Similarly the freehold of a benefice, on the death of the incumbent, is said to be in abeyance until the next incumbent takes possession.

The term hold in abeyance is used in lawsuits and court cases when a case is temporarily put on hold.
-- Wikipedia
Legal Definition
A situation in which the legal owner to real estate is uncertain and the determination of the true owner is pending.
Legal Definition
Being in expectation. An estate will be in abeyance when there is no one to claim it. The law does anticipate that the heir will be found and the estate will ne longer be abeyance.
Legal Definition
Estates, 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.

– 2. 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. 9 Serg. & R.. 367; 8 Plowd. 29 a. b 35 a.

– 3. 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 haeres viventis. 2 Bl. Com. 107; 1 Cruise, 67-70; 1 Inst. 842, Merlin, Repertoire, mot Abeyance; 1 Com. Dig. 176; 1 Vin. Abr. 101.

– 4. 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. 4 Wheat. 691. See, generally, 2 Mass. 500; 7 Mass. 445; 10 Mass. 93; 15 Mass. 464; 9 Cranch, 47. 293; 5 Mass. 555.
-- Bouviers Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
The status of real estate ownership when no clear owner is present and must be determined.