What is a residuary estate?

Last modified: September 1, 2023
Estimated reading time: 1 min

A residuary estate refers to the remaining assets and property of a deceased’s estate after all debts, expenses, taxes, specific bequests, and other distributions have been satisfied. It is the portion of the estate that is not specifically mentioned or designated for distribution in the deceased’s Will or other estate planning documents.

When a person creates a Will, they may specify certain assets or property to be distributed to specific beneficiaries or charities. These specific bequests are typically made clear in the Will. However, there may be assets or property that are not specifically stated in the Will.

The residuary estate encompasses those remaining assets and property, including any assets that were acquired after the creation of the Will. It consists of everything that is left over once all the specific distributions have been made. This can include cash, investments, real estate, personal belongings, and any other assets that were not explicitly stated in the Will.

The distribution of the residuary estate is typically determined based on the residuary clause in the Will. The residuary clause outlines how the remaining assets should be distributed, whether to named individuals, charities, or other beneficiaries. If the Will does not have a residuary clause or if it is unclear, the distribution of the residuary estate Will be based on Distribution Act 1958.

The residuary estate plays an important role in ensuring that all remaining assets are appropriately distributed according to the deceased’s wishes or the legal requirements. It allows for the efficient and comprehensive administration of the estate, ensuring that no assets are left undistributed.

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