Abatement is a word you usually hearing during the administration of an estate. The administration of an estate is the process of gathering the assets and distributing the assets under court supervision.
If the assets in an estate are not sufficient to pay the debts, then the assets named to people in the Will shall be “abated.” That is, they will be sold to pay the expenses and debts of the estate.
The normal order is intestate property, the residue of the estate, general gifts, demonstrative gifts, and specific gifts.
Intestate property is property not included under a Will. The residue of the estate is what is left over after all of the gifts listed in the Will. General gifts are usually just a cash gift. Demostrative gifts are cash gifts from a specific account. Specific gifts are specified items of property, either personal or real property.
Note: Non-probate assets do not abate.