Duke of Hamilton v The Lord Advocate: HL 10 Nov 1892

A testator conveyed to his trustees, inter alia, his whole moveable means and estate in Scotland which should belong to him at the time of his death, and after providing for payment of his debts he directed his trustees to make an inventory of the collection of ‘marbles, bronzes, objects of virtu, buhl, pictures, ornaments, china, and the library’ in his house, which articles were to remain vested in and to be held by them as part of his trust-estate, the liferent use thereof being permitted to his eldest son D, whom failing to the substitute heirs of entail entitled to succeed to the estate. After all his debts, and co., had been ‘completely paid and extinguished,’ the trustees were directed to divest themselves of the whole of his heritable and moveable estate, and dispone the same by deed of entail as follows-‘In the event of the liquidation of the said debts and obligations during the lifetime of D, the said trustees shall assign and make over to him the whole of the moveable estate hereby conveyed, and directed to be liferented as aforesaid.’ . .
D, by an arrangement with the creditors of the testator, liquidated his debts partly by payment and partly by taking upon himself the burden of the balance, but the art collection continued to be held by the trustees during his life.
In a claim by the Crown against the executor and general disponee of D for legacy and inventory duty upon this collection, as having been in bonis of D- held ( aff. the decision of the First Division of the Court of Session) that by the provisions of the trust-deed the art collection was to become the property of the heir in possession of the estate upon certain debts being extinguished, and these having been paid off during D’s life the collection vested in him, and that the defender was bound to lodge accounts of the personal estate and effects of the testator and of D in order that the legacy and inventory duties respectively remaining due thereon might be ascertained.


Lord Chancellor (Lord Herschell), and Lords Watson, Morris, and Field


[1892] UKHL 138, 30 SLR 138





Wills and Probate

Updated: 26 May 2022; Ref: scu.634561