Lifetime gift in satisfaction of pecuniary legacy

I am dealing with an estate whereby an individual is bequeathed £25,000. In February 2021, the Testator gifted £25,000 to this individual. He died in May 2021.

The question which has been put to me is whether the individual receives the £25,000 again under the terms of the Will.

I have some recollection of a doctrine, whereby lifetime gifts are taken into consideration, but I think this might relate to residual entitlement.

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks.

Martyn Dixon
Harold Bell Infields & Co

Whilst I understand that the doctrine of satisfaction may apply to prevent a beneficiary receiving a double benefit, whether a legacy or an interest in residue, I believe that it only applies where the testator stands in loco parentis to the beneficiary.

Re Heather (1906) has been quoted in the past, where residue was given to the testator’s 2 sons and a niece (one-third each) and the adjustment was made only between the entitlement of the 2 sons, the niece still receiving her one-third share.

However, it may be that the testator intended to satisfy the testamentary gift in the case in question and, in the light of the run of recent cases where the testator’s intention was paramount, if the doctrine was to be tested again in court, there might be a different outcome.

Paul Saunders FCIB TEP

Independent Trust Consultant

Providing support and advice to fellow professionals