Archives: Wills, probate and administration

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Capacity – disclosure of wills or LPA

February 2024 | Wills, probate and administration

Whether a client lacks mental capacity, or loses capacity in the course of you acting for them, complications can arise, eg where they cannot consent to disclosure of their will or LPA to their attorney or deputy. A useful practice note from the Law Society clarifies the circumstances in which firms that store client wills …

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Practice – IHT; online probate applications

February 2024 | Wills, probate and administration

From 19 January 2023, a further change has come into effect for practitioners using MyHMCTS, which could exacerbate delays for some estates where IHT is payable. The change means you must now include a code from HMRC where IHT needs to be paid. In practice, this means that once the IHT400 form is sent to …

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Costs – executors and neutrality

February 2024 | Wills, probate and administration

Executors are required to remain neutral if the validity of the will is in dispute, or risk being responsible for the costs incurred. Under CPR PD 46, a PR is entitled to an indemnity out of the estate for ‘costs properly incurred’. Whether costs were properly incurred depends on all the circumstances of the case, …

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Relief from forfeiture – mercy killing

February 2024 | Wills, probate and administration

The court has broad discretion whether to grant relief from forfeiture. A recent ruling is likely the first in the context of a so-called mercy killing. The court granted full relief from forfeiture in a case in which the deceased (T) took his own life shortly after he assisted his terminally-ill wife’s (H) death in …

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Proprietary estoppel – remedies; business partnership

December 2023/January 2024 | Wills, probate and administration

This was a complex case in which a proprietary estoppel argument succeeded. The CA has now ruled on an issue arising in relation to the remedy awarded. Briefly by way of background, T left her estate (including two farms) to the claimant. T had two children with her late husband (G) – the claimant and …

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Proprietary estoppel – reasonable inference

December 2023/January 2024 | Wills, probate and administration

Another proprietary estoppel case involving decades of work and broken promises to leave a family business to the children. A father (F) made a mutual will with his late wife in 2000 leaving his estate equally to three adult sons. He varied his will in 2015, leaving his share in the family business to another …

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ADR – costs for refusing mediation

December 2023/January 2024 | Wills, probate and administration

Refusing the offer of mediation in inheritance disputes could have costs consequences. The estate in question was relatively modest at just over £491,000, but C said she was entitled to considerably more than what she had been left in D’s will. C initially made clear she was willing to enter into ADR, including mediation. This …

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