Q&As

A is the executor of their late mother's Will, which is dated 1974 and contains no administrative provisions. The residue is split equally among six beneficiaries, one of which is A. The only remaining asset within the estate is a parcel of land. A wants to buy out the other beneficiaries to own the land themselves but some of the beneficiaries want to retain their interest in the land. Can A override the wishes of the beneficiaries and transfer the land to themselves, in return for paying to each beneficiary a sum of money equal to their share of the market value of the land? Would the situation be different if A wanted to sell the land on the open market rather than have it transferred to themselves?

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Published on LexisPSL on 16/07/2020

The following Wills & Probate Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • A is the executor of their late mother's Will, which is dated 1974 and contains no administrative provisions. The residue is split equally among six beneficiaries, one of which is A. The only remaining asset within the estate is a parcel of land. A wants to buy out the other beneficiaries to own the land themselves but some of the beneficiaries want to retain their interest in the land. Can A override the wishes of the beneficiaries and transfer the land to themselves, in return for paying to each beneficiary a sum of money equal to their share of the market value of the land? Would the situation be different if A wanted to sell the land on the open market rather than have it transferred to themselves?
  • Self-dealing

We refer you to Practice Note: Power of appropriation, which states the following in respect of appropriation:

Self-dealing

There is no express prohibition in section 41 of the Administration of Estates Act 1925 (AEA 1925) preventing a sole Personal Representative (PR) from appropriating assets to themselves although there is no reference, either expressly or impliedly in AEA 1925, s 41 regarding the self-dealing rule. Whether the common law power of appropriation or the power of appropriation under AEA 1925, s 41, the PR is subject to the rule against self-dealing and is not entitled to self-appropriate any property that is not cash or the equivalent of cash.

While AEA 1925, s 41 does not extend to PRs wishing to appropriate assets to one of their number, in Kane v Radley-Kane, it was held that an appropriation by a PR in her own favour in satisfaction of a pecuniary legacy would be a breach of the rule against self-dealing with

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