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What Is a Abatement? Definition, Uses and Importance.

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Abatement is a legal term used to explain what becomes of a real estate property when there aren’t adequate shares to split between beneficiaries of a will. Not just real estate, but money and other physical assets can be included as part of the shares. In other terms, abatement signifies reduction. 

The rule is that all legatees will abate equally to pay debts. That is, If the estate can not pay all the legacies and debts on the ground, but then, there are specific legacies and general legacies. 

Note, there’s no abatement for specific legacies, except the general legacies are not able to pay their debts. When this is the case, the specific legatees must have to pay whatever that is left to be paid. 

In this short article, we will look at “Abatement”, its importance, and a few other necessary details you need to learn about it.

Why is Abatement important?

Abatement is important because:

  • It serves as a flexible tool for economic development
  • There’s an increase in tax revenue when abatement is offered 

How is Abatement structured?

When it comes to carrying out Abatement, the following procedures must be in place:

  • Presentation of will. The will should be taken to the court the moment all parties involved decides to start the procedure
  • Validity of the will. The court will examine what’s presented before them and decide if the statements are valid
  • An administrator (usually a bank or a lawyer) is assigned to carry out the terms of the will.
  • Finally, the terms of the will are executed by the assigned administrator

Abatement as a law is different from the exemption. For abatement, gifts from a will are reduced because of insufficiency of assets. However, the exemption is the process of granting an individual immunity from duties, liabilities, etc. These exemptions can be from taxations or military conscriptions.

How is Abatement used?

Abatement is mainly used to foster economic activities and the general development of the state, city, or community. Sometimes, the government of a particular state may offer abatements to stop highly rated companies and industries from leaving 

Definition of terms

General Devise: 

A general devise is a cash gift that is given in a person’s will. It’s in contrast with specific devises.

Specific Devise

This deals with giving out an established real estate property in a will. From the name, it’s a “specific legacy”, only that the gifts are limited to real estate.

The testator’s intentions, most times, are for the particular property to satisfy its original purpose. 

Demonstrative Devises

This is when the administrator determines how stocks, securities, real estate properties will be shared.

Non-probate property 

This refers to nonphysical assets like life insurance. You can not abate them.

Synonyms for Abatement

A few synonyms of Abatement include:

  • Reduction
  • Discount
  • Deduction
  • moderation

Frequently Asked Questions About Abatement

Q: In what order do legacies and devices abate when there are not enough assets to pay them?

A: If there aren’t enough estate assets to fulfill all legacies and pay administrative expenses, legacies are often abated in no particular order: specific legacies, general legacies, residuary estate. 

 Q: What is rent abatement?

A: Rent abatement is described as an agreement that exists between a landlord and their tenant. This agreement allows the tenant to spend some months in the apartment free.

That means you’re not expected to pay a dime to stay in the apartment. Usually, the abatement period lasts for the first 2 to 4 months of rent. 

Q: What happens if there is not enough money in an estate to pay bequests?

A: In case the testator didn’t leave sufficient assets to take care of bequests stated in the will, especially after the funeral expenses, debts, and taxes have been paid, the court will order abatement immediately. 

Q: What does abatement mean in real estate?

A: In real estate, abatement is simply a deduction or reduction taken against a tax, hazard, nuisance, or rent. For example, a landlord giving out a part of the house for free means that the tenant or occupant is living on abated rent. 

Reducing taxes on the property as a way of upgrading it can be termed an “abated tax”.

Q: What is Chancery Practice 

A: This is when all proceedings regarding a suit have been suspended because there are no capable hands to proceed with it. 

Chancery practice is different from an abatement law. That’s because, in abatement, there’s no opportunity to revive the proceedings once it’s stopped. But in chancery practice, a bill of revivor can help revive the process again. 

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