HC Deb 19 February 1964 vol 689 cc1313-5
Lady Tweedsmuir

I beg to move, in page 21 line 39, to leave out from the beginning to the end of line 6 on page 22.

I wonder whether it would be for the convenience of the House to take with it the Amendments in page 22, line 33, at end insert new subsection (2), and in line 34, leave out subsection (2).

Mr. Speaker

If the House so pleases.

Lady Tweedsmuir

The purpose of these Amendments is to rewrite the definition of the expression "estate" which appears in the Clause. I admit that the appearance of the Amendments is rather formidable but I hope that on examination it will be made clear that for the most part their purpose is to rearrange material which is already in the Clause.

There are two reasons for making the Amendments. The first is that as the Bill is a succession Bill the interpretation of the term "estate" is a matter obviously of the first importance. We do not think that this has been very well dealt with in the Clause as it stands. The term "estate" is included among the list of terms interpreted by subsection (1) of the Clause, but the interpretation given there is not complete. It is necessary to read also the provisions included in subsection (2) and this might lead to mistakes in the interpretation of the Bill.

We think it better that the provisions defining "estate" should be brought together in one place, and we think them to be so important that they merit a separate subsection. The new subsection includes the definition of "estate" taken from subsection (1), and it includes paragraph (a) of the proviso of the material that at present forms subsection (2). Paragraph (b) of the proviso is new and is intended to cover the type of case which I can best illustrate by giving an example.

A person, A, leaves property to B in liferent, giving B a power of appointment—that is to say, a power to say to whom the property is to go on his death. A's will also contains a condition that if B fails to exercise his power of appointment, a second power of appointment to decide the disposal of the property on B's death is given to C. If B does not exercise his power of appointment it is open to C to say to whom the property is to go on B's death, and therefore this is property which should not form part of B's estate and go to his executor. The new paragraph (b) is intended to ensure that it does not do so. I hope that this will be clear.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendments made: In page 22, line 33, at end insert: (2) Any reference in this Act to the estate of a deceased person shall, unless the context otherwise requires, be construed as a reference to the whole estate, whether heritable or moveable, or partly heritable and partly moveable, or which the deceased has tested either in his own right or in exercise of a power of appointment, or might (assuming no incapacity) have so tested, and, where the deceased immediately before his death held the interest of a tenant under a tenancy or lease which was not expressed to expire on his death, includes that interest: Provided that—

  1. (a) where any heritable property belonging to a deceased person at the date of his death is subject to a special destination in favour of any person, the property shall not be treated for the purposes of this Act as part of the estate of the deceased unless the destination is one which could properly be, and has in fact been, evacuated by the deceased by testamentary disposition or otherwise; and in that case the property shall be treated for the purposes of this Act as if it were part of the deceased's estate on which he has tested; and
  2. (b) where any heritable property over which a deceased person had a power of appointment has not been disposed of in exercise of that power and is in those circumstances subject to a power of appointment by some other person, that property shall not be treated for the purposes of this Act as part of the estate of the deceased.

In line 34, leave out subsection (2).—[Lady Tweedsmuir.]

Lady Tweedsmuir

I beg to move, in page 23, line 1, to leave out subsection (3).

Subsection (3) was included in the Bill to ensure that references to corporeal property would be construed as including rights and interests in the property. On further consideration of the Bill as it stands it does not seem necessary to make this provision. This is why the Amendment will omit subsection (3). I hope that as it omits something it will commend itself to the House.

Amendment agreed to.