ABATEMENT OF LEGACIES
(a) If the assets, after the payment of debts, necessary expenses and specific legacies, are not sufficient to pay all the general legacies in full, the latter abate in equal proportion, and the personal representative has no right to pay one legatee in preference to another nor to retain any money on account of a legacy to himself or to any other person for whom he is a trustee; however, if the personal representative is entitled to a priority in respect of his remuneration, that priority is upheld.
(b) For the purposes of abasement, a legacy for life, a sum appropriated by the will to produce an annuity, and the value of annuity when no sum has been appropriated to produce it, shall be treated as general legacies.
(c) Where there is a specific legacy and the assets are sufficient for the payment of debts and necessary expenses, the thing specified must be delivered to the legatee without any abatement.
(d) Where there is a demonstrative legacy, and the assets are sufficient for the payment of debts and necessary expenses, the legatee shall have a preferential claim for payment of his legacy out of the fund from which the legacy is directed to be paid until the fund is exhausted, and if the fund is exhausted, but part of the legacy still remains unpaid, he shall be entitled to rank for the remainder against the general assets as for a legacy of the amount of the unpaid remainder.
(e) If the assets are not sufficient to answer the debts and the specific legacies, an abatement shall be made from the latter rateably in proportion to their respective amounts.
(f) Where personal representatives have given such notice as may be prescribed for creditors and others to send in their claims against the estate of the deceased, the personal representatives can distribute the assets of the estate at the expiration of the time stated; they shall not be liable for the assets so distributed to any person of whose claim they have not had notice at the time of distribution. The creditor or claimant has the right to follow the asset in the hands or persons who received them.
(g) Where personal representatives have paid any legacy which, but for the payment, would have been liable to abatement as above, they shall be entitled to call upon the legatee to refund the amount by which the legacy should have abated only if:
- The legacy was paid under any order of the court; or
- If and so far as the abatement is rendered necessary by discovery of a debt of which the personal representative had no notice at the time of voluntary payment of the legacy.