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Abatement: Abatement refers generally to a lessening, diminution, reduction, or moderation; specifically, it may refer to:
Abatement of debts and legacies: Abatement of debts and legacies is a common law doctrine of wills that holds that when the equitable assets of a deceased person are not sufficient to satisfy fully all the creditors, their debts must abate proportionately, and they must accept a dividend.In the case of legacies when the funds or assets out of which they are payable are not sufficient to pay them in full, the legacies abate in proportion, unless there is a priority given specially to any particular legacy. Annuities are also subject to the same rule as general legacies.
Abatement (heraldry): An abatement is a modification of a coat of arms, representing a less-than honorable augmentation, imposed by an heraldic authority (such as the Court of Chivalry in England) or by royal decree for misconduct. The practice of inverting the entire escutcheon of an armiger found guilty of high treason has been attested since the Middle Ages and is generally accepted as reliable, and medieval heraldic sources cite at least one instance of removing an honourable charge from a coat of arms by royal decree as an abatement of honour.
Abatement in pleading: At common law an abatement in pleading or plea in abatement, was a defence to legal proceedings, which did not contest the principle of the plaintiff's right to relief, but contended that the plaintiff had made a procedural error, and needed to bring fresh proceedings, which followed the correct procedure. The objection could deal with place, time, or method of assertion.