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HMRC internal manual

Capital Gains Manual

Absolute entitlement: wills or intestacies: land

The principle of Crowe v Appleby applies where a will leaves land in trust and thereare some absolute interests whereas other persons have life interests or contingentinterests. More common is the case where a person dies without leaving a will(`intestacy’). In such a case the widow, widower or surviving civil partner has astatutory legacy of a fixed amount, and is entitled to a life interest in half theremainder. The children (or parents or brothers and sisters) are entitled to halfabsolutely, if over eighteen, and the remainder on the death of the widow, widower orsurviving civil partner. If the estate includes land, then that land is settled propertyas a whole, and any disposal is by the trustees alone. There is support for thisconclusion in the judgement of Sir John Pennycuick at 51TC487, Section I, where he saysthat there is a single settlement, not a double one whereby the trustees hold the propertyin trust for themselves as tenants in common.