Commissioner of Stamp Duties v Livingstone [1960]

Nature of beneficiary’s interest under an
unadministered estate?
Mr L died leaving estate to widow.
While estate in course of administration, widow died.
Held that widow did not hold beneficial interest in
the estate property.
Deceased’s administrator is not a trustee for the
person who will take the property under intestate succession.
They are full legal owners of the deceased’s property,
though they are under stringent obligations to dispose of his property
properly, and for this reason their role is very trustee-like.
Prospective beneficiaries, although they do not have
an interest in the deceased’s estate itself, have a right against the
administrator to administer the estate properly.