Hong Kong court confirms executors can advance estate assets before residuary estate is determined

Shan Warnock Smith QC has another successful Hong Kong appeal.

Shan Warnock Smith QC has another successful Hong Kong appeal! The HK Court of Appeal today handed down judgment in Re The Estate of Chen Din Hwa, unanimously accepting our submissions that the statutory power of advancement in section 34 of the Hong Kong Trustee Ordinance (in the same terms as the original version of section 32 TA in England and Wales) is exercisable by personal representatives while the estate is still in administration and not only after the residuary estate is ascertained. This brings the law in Hong Kong into line with common practice and confirms the ability of personal representatives to assist their beneficiaries during administration even where the will does not expressly say (as is often the case) that the executors have all the powers of trustees during administration. The Court also agreed that the power remains exercisable even after the beneficiary’s interest has become vested absolutely but before actual distribution. The judgment is [2019] HKCA 1317.