Will drafting—hotchpot

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

  • Will drafting—hotchpot
  • The use and purpose of a hotchpot clause
  • Powers of appointment
  • Advances
  • Partial intestacy

Will drafting—hotchpot

Hotchpot clauses in Wills can be useful in equalising benefits between beneficiaries.

The hotchpot rule is also applied in cases of partial intestacy where the deceased died before 1 January 1996, see Partial intestacy below.

The use and purpose of a hotchpot clause

The testator should be advised about the possible use of a hotchpot clause in three particular instances:

  1. where beneficiaries of a trust may receive benefits under a power of appointment

  2. where advances have been made (or there is an expectation that they may be made) to beneficiaries in the testator's lifetime

  3. where the testator releases debts

In respect of the first scenario above, a hotchpot clause could be inserted in the Will to ensure that any member of a class who is the recipient of an appointment credits that shared before they are able to share in any unappointed part of the fund.

In circumstances where the testator has made or expects to make advances in their lifetime to certain beneficiaries, they may wish that those beneficiaries bring those advances into account before they receive their legacy or share of the residuary estate. Of course, this result may not be what the testator wishes and they may want to make it clear in their Will that the provisions that they have made in their lifetime are in addition to, rather than supplemental to, the gifts

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