Joint Pecuniary Beneficiaries

I am administering an estate where a pecuniary legacy was left to friends of the testator jointly (Mr & Mrs F). Mr F died after the testator and there is no direction in the Will to state whether Mrs F (who is in a care home) is to receive the full pecuniary legacy or whether Mr and Mrs F were to receive equal amounts which would mean that Mrs F would only receive half the pecuniary legacy. Can anyone advise of any cases or legislation that state Mrs F should receive the full legacy? TIA

Unless there are words of severance in the legacy, the legacy accrues to the survivor, regardless of whether any of these beneficiaries dies before or after the testator.

Mr F could have severed the joint tenancy had he, say, given instructions for “his share” of the legacy to be paid to a bank account in his own name.

As matters stand, Mrs F is the sole person entitled to receive the joint legacy, which passed to her by survivorship (in accordance with the general rule for the devolution of joint property).

Whilst there appears to be a dearth of specific references to joint legacies, as stated above, they are subject to the same rules as other joint property.

The above is based upon the will being subject to the law of England & Wales – I understand that, for example, application of the law in Scotland would give a different answer.

Paul Saunders FCIB TEP

Independent Trust Consultant

Providing support and advice to fellow professionals

Thank you Paul. This is what I expected.