Peter Birks

in The Law of Property

Third edition

Published in print March 2002 | ISBN: 9780198299936
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191685811 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Law Series


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What happens to your property when you die? This matter is complicated by a number of factors: along with tangible belongings such as land or goods, the property of a deceased person may include debts due from others and there may well be debts owing by the deceased which need to be paid. In its treatment of these issues, the common law uses the word ‘estate’ to mean either the totality of property or specific classes of property left by a deceased — the relevant legislation says, for instance, that ‘where a person dies intestate, his real and personal estate shall vest in the Public Trustee until the grant of administration’. The law of succession falls into four parts: one deals with the appointment and duties of personal representatives, one with wills, and one with intestate succession; and something needs to be said about the few situations where property may pass on death outside the law of wills or intestacy.

Keywords: property; succession; estate; wills; intestacy; debts; death; common law; administration; personal representatives

Chapter.  2978 words. 

Subjects: Civil Law

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