Archives: Wills, probate and administration

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Wills – testamentary capacity

June 2021 | Wills, probate and administration

The anticipated appeal ruling in Clitheroe has now been given, confirming that the Banks v Goodfellow test for testamentary capacity remains intact, notwithstanding the differing criteria under the MCA. In this case, the appeal was against a decision to refuse to admit to probate two wills (from 2010 and 2013) executed by the deceased, on …

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Inheritance Act claims – adult children

June 2021 | Wills, probate and administration

There has been an increasing tendency in recent years for the court to allow dependency claims by adult children. However, the court recently refused a claim by adult siblings in circumstances where they were not in financial need. T had given his two adult daughters substantial cash gifts nearly a decade before his death in …

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Litigants in person – fairness of proceedings

May 2021 | Wills, probate and administration

The judge had not been unfair towards the LIPs in a recent probate dispute hearing. The fact that he had been somewhat stern and showed signs of impatience (as a result of a mistaken premise) did not give rise to unfairness. The claimant had sought to establish her mother’s (T) will. T’s other three children …

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Wills interpretation – domicile

May 2021 | Wills, probate and administration

How will the courts approach the construction of a will where D’s domicile is at issue? In a recent case, D died in a skiing accident. She was a New Zealand national and, some years previously, had established a family trust in NZ. Her will was also executed in NZ, under which her residuary estate …

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Court of Protection – over 16s

May 2021 | Wills, probate and administration

P lacked capacity to make his own decisions on foreign travel and other issues, including contact with family and social media engagement. Now 19 years old, P and his twin brother and two other siblings were made subject to full care orders in 2016, after concerns at their treatment at the hands of their parents. …

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Trusts – land

May 2021 | Wills, probate and administration

There aren’t many pieces of ancient legislation that have stood the test of time, but the Schools Sites Act 1841 is one of them. In this case, the LA won its appeal in relation to a piece of land gifted as a school site in the early 1900s under the provisions of that Act. The …

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Wills – holograph will invalid

May 2021 | Wills, probate and administration

The High Court has declared a one-page holographic will, executed and apparently witnessed by two sets of witnesses, as invalid against the background of allegations of fraud. Under the terms of the purported will, T left his £1.7m to a fellow professor and his wife. At issue was whether or not two individuals validly witnessed …

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Estate accounts – record-keeping

May 2021 | Wills, probate and administration

Poor record-keeping, particularly in relation to estate administration, can lead to significant problems for executors and their advisers, an issue highlighted by the High Court in a recent case. A Part 8 claim arose out of a dispute between the claimant and her brother (D) involving two estates of which D was the executor. One …

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