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Wills & Administration of Estates LPC Exam Revision Distribution of a Person's Property on Death General Rules When a person dies you have to determine whether they have died testate or intestate (i.e. with or without a will which determines who inherits the succession estate). A person can die partially intestate where they leave a will but do not deal with all of the assets in the succession estate, such assets will be dealt with by the intestacy rules.
Succession Estate A 'succession estate' is all of the assets owned by the person who has died. The Personal Representatives will pay the deceased debts, funeral and administrative expenses and will distribute the remaining assets to those who are to inherit the assets. All property comprises the succession estate apart from:
1. Property (including bank accounts) held as joint tenants: the remaining joint tenant will have the whole of the asset. If property was held as tenant in common they will have their proportion of the asset as part of their succession estate.
2. Insurance policies written in trust: life assurance policies where there is a nominated person to receive the benefits
3. Pension benefits: the deceased has likely nominated a person to receive such fund and will be paid to the identified individual.
4. Statutory nominations: amounts of money (limited to PS5,000) transferred to an individual
5. Donatio Mortis Causa: a gift made during the deceased's lifetime in contemplation and conditional of the donor's death.
6. Trusts/Settlements: the deed of the trust controls the destination of the trust property. A life tenant of a trust has the right to receive all income from the test during their lifetime. When the life tenant dies the remainderman has the right to the capital of the trust.
Intestacy If a person dies wholly or partially intestate then the following rules apply:
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