Satisfaction is the equitable doctrine by which the donation of a thing is taken as extinguishing some prior claim in favor of the donee. This doctrine will only apply when it is in accordance with the intention of the donor. The following are the principal applications of this doctrine.

(a) Satisfaction of debts by legacies. When a debtor leaves money by will to a creditor of his, this will ordinarily be presumed to be in satisfaction of the debt if the amount of the legacy is equal to or greater than the amount of the debt. If the amount of the legacy is less than the amount of the debt, it will be presumed to be a satisfaction pro tanto. This presumption may be rebutted by evidence showing that the testator intended the legatee to receive both the amount of the legacy and of the debt.1 When a creditor leaves a legacy to his debtor, the one will be set-off against the other and it will not be presumed (in the absence of evidence to that effect) that the creditor intended the debtor to take the legacy and in addition to be free of the debt.2

(b) Satisfaction of legacies by subsequent legacies. Two legacies of the same specific article can, of course, only transfer the article once. Legacies of different amounts by the same instruments,3 or of the same amount by different instruments, are considered as cumulative;4 but where there are two legacies of the same amount, given to the same party, by the same instrument, the second legacy is presumed to be in satisfaction of the first.5 Each of these presumptions may be rebutted by evidence of a contrary intention on the part of the testator.

Strong vs. Williams, 12 Mass., 389. 2 Sharp vs. Wightmans, 205 Pa.

St., 285; 54 Atl., 888. 3 Edwards vs. Rainier's Ex's., 17 Ohio St., 597.

(c) Satisfaction of legacies by portions and advancements. In a majority of the states it is held that when a father makes a will leaving a certain legacy to a child, and afterwards pays to the child a sum of money, the presumption is that such payment will be considered (in the absence of evidence of a contrary intention) as being in the nature of an advancement, and as working satisfaction pro tanto of the legacy to such child. This doctrine is mainly upheld on the ground of fairness to the other children of the testator.

(d) Satisfaction of portions by subsequent legacies. Where the parent of one of the parties to a marriage agrees to settle a certain amount of money, or property, upon the parties to said marriage, or either of them or their children, and afterwards makes such a provision by will, such legacy will be presumed to be in satisfaction of the promised portion or settlement.