Home Table of Contents

§ 2514. Rules of interpretation

Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated StatutesTitle 20 Pa.C.S.A. Decedents, Estates and FiduciariesEffective: January 1, 2017

Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated Statutes
Title 20 Pa.C.S.A. Decedents, Estates and Fiduciaries (Refs & Annos)
Chapter 25. Wills (Refs & Annos)
Effective: January 1, 2017
20 Pa.C.S.A. § 2514
§ 2514. Rules of interpretation
In the absence of a contrary intent appearing therein, wills shall be construed as to real and personal estate in accordance with the following rules:
(1) Repealed by 1976, July 9, P.L. 551, No. 135, § 10, imd. effective.
(1.1) Construction that will passes all property.--A will shall be construed to apply to all property which the testator owned at his death, including property acquired after the execution of his will.
(2) Repealed by 1976, July 9, P.L. 551, No. 135, § 10, imd. effective.
(3) Devises of real estate.--All devises of real estate shall pass the whole estate of the testator in the premises devised, although there be no words of inheritance or of perpetuity.
(4) Meaning of “heirs” and “next of kin,” etc.; time of ascertaining class.--A devise or bequest of real or personal estate, whether directly or in trust, to the testator's or another designated person's “heirs” or “next of kin” or “relatives” or “family” or to “the persons thereunto entitled under the intestate laws” or to persons described by words of similar import, shall mean those persons, including the spouse, who would take under the intestate laws if the testator or other designated person were to die intestate at the time when such class is to be ascertained, a resident of the Commonwealth, and owning the estate so devised or bequeathed: Provided, however, That the share of a spouse, other than the spouse of the testator, shall not include the allowance under the intestate laws. The time when such class is to be ascertained shall be the time when the devise or bequest is to take effect in enjoyment.
(5) Time for ascertaining class.--In construing a devise or bequest to a class other than a class described in section 2514(4), the class shall be ascertained at the time the devise or bequest is to take effect in enjoyment, except that the issue then living of any member of the class who is then dead shall take per stirpes the share which their deceased ancestor would have taken if he had then been living.
(6) Meaning of “die without issue” and similar phrases.--In any devise or bequest of real or personal estate, the words “die without issue,” “die without leaving issue,” “have no issue,” or other words importing either a want or failure of issue of any person in his lifetime or at the time of his death, or an indefinite failure of his issue, shall be construed to mean a want or failure of issue in his lifetime or at his death, and not an indefinite failure of his issue.
(7) Adopted children.--In construing paragraphs (9), (10) and (11) of this section, relating to lapsed and void devises and legacies, and in construing a will making a devise or bequest to a person or persons described by relationship to the testator or to another, any adopted person shall be considered the child of his adopting parent or parents, except that, in construing the will of a testator who is not the adopting parent, an adopted person shall not be considered the child of his adopting parent or parents unless the adoption occurred during the adopted person's minority or reflected an earlier parent-child relationship that existed during the child's minority. An adopted person who is considered the child of his adopting parent or parents under this paragraph shall not be considered as continuing to be the child of his natural parents except in construing the will of a natural kin, other than the natural parent, who has maintained a family relationship with the adopted person. If a natural parent shall have married the adopting parent, the adopted person shall also be considered the child of such natural parent.
(8) Persons born out of wedlock.--In construing paragraphs (9), (10) and (11), relating to lapsed and void devises and legacies, and in construing a will making a devise or bequest to a person or persons described by relationship to the testator or to another, a person born out of wedlock shall be considered the child of the natural mother and also of the natural father if paternity of the natural father has been determined pursuant to the provisions of section 2107 (relating to persons born out of wedlock).
(9) Lapsed and void devises and legacies; substitution of issue.--A devise or bequest to a child or other issue of the testator or to his brother or sister or to a child of his brother or sister whether designated by name or as one of a class shall not lapse if the beneficiary shall fail to survive the testator and shall leave issue surviving the testator but shall pass to such surviving issue who shall take per stirpes the share which their deceased ancestor would have taken had he survived the testator: Provided, That such a devise or bequest to a brother or sister or to the child of a brother or sister shall lapse to the extent to which it will pass to the testator's spouse or issue as a part of the residuary estate or under the intestate laws.
(10) Lapsed and void devises and legacies; shares not in residue.--A devise or bequest not being part of the residuary estate which shall fail or be void because the beneficiary fails to survive the testator or because it is contrary to law or otherwise incapable of taking effect or which has been revoked by the testator or is undisposed of or is released or disclaimed by the beneficiary, if it shall not pass to the issue of the beneficiary under the provisions of paragraph (9) hereof, and if the disposition thereof shall not be otherwise expressly provided for by law, shall be included in the residuary devise or bequest, if any, contained in the will.
(11) Lapsed and void devises and legacies; shares in residue.--When a devise or bequest as described in paragraph (10) hereof shall be included in a residuary clause of the will and shall not be available to the issue of the devisee or legatee under the provisions of paragraph (9) hereof, and if the disposition shall not be otherwise expressly provided for by law, it shall pass to the other residuary devisees or legatees, if any there be, in proportion to their respective shares or interests in the residue.
(12) Repealed by 1976, July 9, P.L. 551, No. 135, § 10, imd. effective.
(12.1) Property subject to a security interest.--A specific devise or bequest of real or personal property passes that property subject to any security interest therein existing at the date of the testator's death, without any right of exoneration out of any other estate of the testator regardless whether the security interest was created by the testator or by a previous owner and any general directive in the will to pay debts.
(13) Deleted by 2016, July 8, P.L. 497, No. 79, § 1, effective Jan. 1, 2017.
(14) Cemetery lot.--If in a will no express disposition or other mention is made of a cemetery lot owned by the testator at his decease and wherein he or any member of his family is buried, the ownership of the lot shall not pass from his lawful heirs by a residuary or other general clause of the will but shall descend to his heirs as if he had died intestate.
(15) Inheritance tax.--The inheritance tax imposed by the Inheritance and Estate Tax Act of 1961 upon the transfer of real or personal property which passes by will absolutely and in fee, and which is not part of the residuary estate, shall be paid out of the residuary estate and charged in the same manner as a general administration expense. Such inheritance tax imposed upon the transfer of any estate, income or interest for a term of years, for life or for other limited period, shall be paid out of the principal of the property by which the estate income or interest is supported.
(16) Deleted by 1976, July 9, P.L. 551, No. 135, § 13, imd. effective.
(16.1) Nonademption; incapacity.--If property of an adjudicated incapacitated person specifically devised or bequeathed is sold or exchanged or if a condemnation award or insurance proceeds are paid to the estate of an incapacitated person as a result of condemnation, fire or casualty, the specific legatee or devisee has the right to the net sale price, the property received in exchange, the condemnation award or the insurance proceeds. This paragraph does not apply if subsequent to the sale, exchange, condemnation, or casualty, the testator has been adjudicated not to be an incapacitated person and survives the adjudication by one year.
(16.2) Nonademption; agent.--If an agent under a power of attorney, during the time that his principal is an incapacitated person within the meaning of section 5501 (relating to meaning of incapacitated person), sells or exchanges property of the principal which is specifically devised or bequeathed, the specific legatee or devisee has the right to the net sale price or the property received in exchange. For the purposes of this paragraph, a sale or exchange of property made by an agent shall be deemed to have been made during the time that the principal is an incapacitated person, unless shown to the contrary. This paragraph does not apply if it is shown that for a period of at least one year subsequent to the sale or exchange the principal was not an incapacitated person within the meaning of section 5501.
(17) Change in securities.--If the testator intended a specific bequest of securities owned by him at the time of the execution of his will, rather than the equivalent value thereof, the legatee is entitled only to:
(i) as much of those securities as formed a part of the testator's estate at the time of his death;
(ii) any additional or other securities issued by the same entity thereon and owned by the testator by reason of a stock dividend, stock split or other action by the entity, excluding any acquired by exercise of purchase options for more than a fractional share; and
(iii) securities of another entity received thereon or in exchange therefor and owned by the testator as a result of a merger, consolidation or reorganization of the entity or other similar change.
(18) Nonademption; balance.--A devisee or legatee of property specifically devised or bequeathed has the right to any of that property which the testator still owned at his death and:
(i) any balance of the purchase price or balance of property to be received in exchange, together with any security interest, owing from a purchaser to the testator at his death by reason of a sale or exchange of the property by the testator;
(ii) any amount due for the condemnation of the property and unpaid at the testator's death;
(iii) any proceeds unpaid at the testator's death on fire or casualty insurance on the property; and
(iv) property owned by the testator at his death as a result of foreclosure, or obtained in lieu of foreclosure, of the security for a specifically bequeathed obligation.
(19) Employee benefits.--Benefits received by a trust under a Federally qualified profit sharing, pension or stock bonus plan shall not be available for the payment of obligations of the decedent or of his estate.
(20) Corporate fiduciaries.--Provisions authorizing or restricting investment in the securities or common trust funds of a corporate fiduciary or the exercise of voting rights in its securities shall also apply to the securities or common trust funds of any corporation which is an affiliate of the corporate fiduciary within the meaning of section 1504 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (Public Law 99-514, 26 U.S.C. § 1504).

Credits

1972, June 30, P.L. 508, No. 164, § 2, eff. July 1, 1972. Amended 1976, July 9, P.L. 551, No. 135, §§ 11 to 13, imd. effective; 1978, Nov. 26, P.L. 1269, No. 303, § 1, imd. effective; 1984, Oct. 12, P.L. 929, No. 182, § 3, imd. effective; 1992, April 16, P.L. 108, No. 24, § 3, effective in 60 days; 1992, Dec. 16, P.L. 1163, No. 152, § 4, imd. effective; 1999, Oct. 12, P.L. 422, No. 39, § 4, effective in 60 days; 2016, July 8, P.L. 497, No. 79, § 1, effective Jan. 1, 2017.
20 Pa.C.S.A. § 2514, PA ST 20 Pa.C.S.A. § 2514
Current through 2022 Regular Session Act 121. Some statute sections may be more current, see credits for details.
End of Document