The Practical Lawyer

Wills, probate and administration

Voluntary deeds – rescission; mistake

Mistake led to a deed of appointment being rescinded by the court. It would be unconscionable to leave the mistake uncorrected, the High Court ruled.
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Wills – conditional gifts

Ignorance of a condition within a will does not make it incapable or impossible of fulfilment in the sense in which that expression has been used in the authorities relied on, the High Court ruled.
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Deputyship – fee refunds

Lawyers and/or clients of the OPG can now claim refunds for deputyship fees paid between 1 April 2008 and 31 March 2015 which they think they may be entitled to. Current deputies who have existing eligible clients will be automatically refunded, otherwise an application must be made.
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Dementia – contested probate

Establishing a relationship between a dementia patient and three adults would reduce and hopefully eliminate the need for a contentious estate dispute after his death, and this was in P’s best interests, the CoP has ruled. 
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Inheritance tax – charitable legacy

 A legacy left to a charitable trust in Jersey under the will of a Jersey resident is exempt from IHT, the Supreme Court has decided. The key issue was whether Jersey is to be regarded as a ‘third country’ in the context of the principle of free movement of capital.
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LPAs – gifts by attorneys

Giving attorneys the power under an LPA to make gifts to others and themselves can invalidate it, the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) has ruled in a test case. The law limits the power of attorneys under an LPA to make gifts to themselves or others, but how is it applied in practice?
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Probate – domicile

 A series of temporary homes, occupied while being redeveloped to be sold at a profit, is not inconsistent with an intention to make England and Wales a person’s ‘sole or chief residence’.
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Inheritance claims – interim payments

When can the court exercise its statutory power to award interim payments to a claimant under the Inheritance Act? This issue rarely comes before the court and the author of this article highlights the court’s approach to the issue, and practical points of note that emerge from it.
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Court of Protection – ratification of gifts

The COP allowed a deputy’s application for ratification of gifts previously made on P’s behalf, and authority to make prospective gifts on his behalf. The application was essentially for tax purposes but the COP allowed the application on the basis of the submissions of the Official Solicitor.
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Court of Protection – deputies

 A charitable trust corporation could be appointed as a professional deputy for property and financial affairs for a protected person. This COP ruling provides important clarification on the ability of a trust corporation, which is not SRA regulated, to be appointed as a deputy.
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Most-read articles

LPAs – gifts by attorneys
Wednesday, 13 November 2019
Giving attorneys the power under an LPA to make gifts to others and themselves can invalidate it, the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) has ruled in a test case. The law limits the power of... Read more...
VAT and disbursements – Law Society guidance
Wednesday, 13 November 2019
The Law Society has issued a detailed new practice note ‘VAT Treatment of Disbursements and Expenses’ (8 October 2019) following two recent cases in which the concept of disbursements has been... Read more...
Socialising with colleagues – a thing of the past?
Wednesday, 13 November 2019
 It is not the role of The Practical Lawyer to judge. But firms would be well advised to re-visit their attitude to lawyers socialising with each other following a recent high-profile case of the... Read more...
Trial bundles – careful preparation required
Wednesday, 13 November 2019
Rather like buses, one waits for judicial comment on court documents and trial bundles, and then two come along at once. An article discusses a recent case in which the court was unimpressed with the... Read more...
Infant approval hearing – top tips
Wednesday, 13 November 2019
An interesting article provides some practical advice on achieving the court’s approval in infant approval hearings. This is a mechanism by which the court considers and, hopefully, approves the... Read more...
Tenant Fees Act 2019 – fully into force
Wednesday, 13 November 2019
We have reported in our March 2019 (p27) and May 2019 (p28) editions on the introduction of the Tenant Fees Act which came into force for new tenancies and licences to occupy on 1 June 2019. The Act... Read more...
CVA – use to reduce rent
Wednesday, 13 November 2019
 If a limited company is insolvent, it can use a CVA to pay creditors over a fixed period. If creditors agree, the limited company can continue trading. The CVA has been used by companies in the... Read more...
Rectification of title – what is ‘exceptional’?
Wednesday, 13 November 2019
The HC has considered whether or not to correct a mistake on a registered title. Under Sch 4 LRA 2002 the court can order rectification but no order may be made without the proprietor’s consent in... Read more...
Paternity – best interests
Wednesday, 13 November 2019
What’s the court’s approach to paternity cases when the issue arises years after the child’s birth, and in circumstances where both child and F always believed F was the biological father, but... Read more...
Religious beliefs – not always protected
Tuesday, 12 November 2019
The ET has heard an interesting case relating to a person’s religious beliefs. The Equality Act 2010 legally protects people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society. It replaced... Read more...


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