Personal representatives and trustees—power of appropriation
Personal representatives and trustees—power of appropriation

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

  • Personal representatives and trustees—power of appropriation
  • Personal representatives' common law and statutory power of appropriation
  • Appropriations where consent is required
  • Appropriations where consent is not required
  • Trustees’ power of appropriation
  • Extending trustees' powers of appropriation
  • Valuation
  • Effects of appropriation
  • Trusts of land
  • Self-dealing

Appropriation is a process by which a personal representative (PR) or a trustee uses a specific asset in the estate or trust fund to meet, in full or in part, a beneficiary’s entitlement or interest.

Personal representatives' common law and statutory power of appropriation

PRs have a power of appropriation under the common law over any part of the residuary estate (but not a fund) which may be exercised with the consent of the beneficiary, in or towards satisfaction of a vested legacy or a share of residue, even if payable at a future time. This does not extend to a contingent legacy unless it carries the right to the intermediate income. The power extends to both real and personal property whether or not that property is subject to a trust for conversion. The common law power does not extend to PRs appropriating unauthorised investments.

PRs have a statutory power of appropriation under section 41 of the Administration of Estates Act 1925 (AEA 1925) which allows PRs to appropriate any part of the estate, (including choses in action) in its actual condition or state of investment at the time of appropriation, in or towards satisfaction of any legacy or interest or share in the estate, whether absolute or settled, without the requirement for the deceased to confer a power of appropriation in the Will.

The statutory power in

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