Q&As

An estate has insufficient cash to pay B's pecuniary legacy. Can A, the executor and residuary beneficiary, use their own funds in order to pay B's legacy as an alternative to selling other estate assets, or appropriating them in specie to B?

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Produced in partnership with Lynne Counsell of 9 Stone Buildings
Published on LexisPSL on 30/04/2020

The following Wills & Probate Q&A Produced in partnership with Lynne Counsell of 9 Stone Buildings provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • An estate has insufficient cash to pay B's pecuniary legacy. Can A, the executor and residuary beneficiary, use their own funds in order to pay B's legacy as an alternative to selling other estate assets, or appropriating them in specie to B?
  • Pecuniary legacies
  • Appropriation
  • Summary

Pecuniary legacies

A pecuniary legacy is defined in section 55(ix) of the Administration of Estates Act 1925 (AEA 1925). It can include an annuity and other specified types of legacy, but is usually ‘a general direction by a testator for the payment of money’ within the meaning of AEA 1925, s 55(ix).

There are very specific statutory and equitable rules regarding the payment of pecuniary legacies. See Practice Note: Payment of legacies. Subject to any provisions contained in the Will, a fund is retained from the deceased’s estate (if solvent) to pay pecuniary legacies in accordance with the statutory order of the application of assets under AEA 1925, s 34 and Sch 1, Pt II. The fund is set aside after the payment of such funeral, testamentary and administration expenses, debts and liabilities as are properly payable from the estate prior to the payment of the pecuniary l

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