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HMRC internal manual

Trusts, Settlements and Estates Manual

Legal background to trusts and estates: executors pay a legacy early

Personal representatives pay over legacies as and when they are able. These may be specific items such as a ring or a piece of furniture as well as cash. However, they may have to wait until they have full facts about the deceased’s estate.

Executors can give assent to a legacy before they receive a grant of probate.

Administrators cannot give assent to a legacy until they receive letters of administration.

As soon as personal representatives give assent, the beneficiary becomes the owner of the legacy.