Wills & Administration of Estates Tutorial 9 Essay Example
Wills and the Administration of Estates
Distinguish between specific and general legacies.
A general legacy is one that takes the form of a pecuniary/financial legacy that is payable out of the gift, the item or the general estate of the personal property not specified. For instance, the testator may give to their niece a Lamborghini motor vehicle but considering that it may not mean that he owned that actual property then this legacy has to be furnished out of the general estate. A specific legacy on the other hand is that of a specific item and the specific legacy’s subject matter should have a description that is as clear as possible.
How would you describe a demonstrative legacy?
The demonstrative legacy is a gift that a testator directs that it be paid out of a particular and a specified asset/fund. The testator for instance will direct that an amount of $500 be paid to a nephew from a particular fund such as his fixed deposit account in a Swiss bank. For a gift to qualify to be demonstrative there has to be an indication that it will be taken out of a specific fund and on the occasion that that fund is inadequate, then a call on the testator’s general estate may be made. This simply means a fund is designated for the payment of the concerned legacy making this legacy a hybrid of a specific and a general legacy.
What is the doctrine of ademption?
The doctrine of ademption provides that one cannot bequeath an asset that they do not own or what does not exist. A good example comes from a situation where testator gives a cottage to his son but the cottage is sold before his death, this will mean that there is no cottage to give to the son making the gift fail.
How does it operate when the nature of a gift changes?
The doctrine of ademption operates in the general principle that there will be failure by ademption on a specific gift anytime the subject matter of the gift ceases to exist regardless of it being the testator’s property particular at the time of his death. Ademption occurs where the gift or asset in question has been changed.
‘The doctrine of satisfaction springs from a general equitable presumption to the effect that if a person is under an obligation to do an act, and then does some other act that can be regarded as fulfilling the original obligation, the latter act is presumed to have been done in substitution for that obligation (and not in addition to).’
This doctrine according to the statement above presumes that a legacy or a gift drawn in a will does not take effect simply because it has been presented to the beneficiary. The statement regarding this doctrine has its basis in the maxim, “that equity imputes an intention for the fulfillment of an obligation”. This is a situation where if a person is under the obligation to undertake a certain obligation but instead does another thing, this doing of another thing is held as satisfying that legal obligation that he was initially supposed to do. There are several situations that the doctrine does not apply, the will made by the testator contains in it a specific direction that a certain obligation was to be fulfilled.
Brown, Gordon W. 2003. Administration of Wills, Trusts, and Estates. 3d ed. Clifton Park, N.Y.: Thomson/Delmar Learning.
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