Payment of legacies
Payment of legacies

The following Wills & Probate guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Payment of legacies
  • Identification
  • Executor's year
  • Deciding to distribute
  • Beneficiaries
  • A general legacy
  • A specific legacy
  • Demonstrative legacies
  • A residuary gift
  • Cumulative legacies
  • more

Identification

The personal representatives (PRs) must identify:

  1. the beneficiary entitled

  2. what each beneficiary is entitled to receive

  3. the time at which each legacy should be paid

Executor's year

PRs have at least a year from the date of death before beneficiaries can call on them to distribute any part of the estate.

Deciding to distribute

Before deciding to commence distribution, PRs must consider:

  1. outstanding tax liabilities

  2. outstanding debts

  3. unknown beneficiaries

  4. rectification action

  5. family provision claims

  6. variation or disclaimer

Beneficiaries

Duty to distribute

PRs must distribute to the persons entitled under the deceased's Will/intestacy rules. Before distributing, they must satisfy themselves as to the correct identity of the beneficiaries.

Class descriptions

When a beneficiary under the Will is identified by reference to a general class description, the PRs must ascertain all those within the class description.

Advertisements

PRs must ensure that they make the statutory advertisements under section 27 of the Trustee Act 1925 (TA 1925).

Class-closing

These are rules of construction aimed at closing entry to the class as soon as someone satisfies the class requirements so that persons satisfying the class description but born afterwards cannot join it.

Entitlement

This depends on the type of legacy.

PRs must be alert to the possibility that a legacy has lapsed or failed.

A general legacy

This is a gift of property

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