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Alex Burch
 

£6m gift for son of woman who has dementia

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In the recent case of Re JMA and others , an application by an attorney to make gifts from the estate of his mother who has dementia, was granted. The gifts amounted to more than £7m and included one of £6m to himself. JMA gave her son, PBC,...

Wills are important, regardless of fame and fortune

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The number of high profile celebrities who die without making a Will never ceases to amaze, particularly when you consider the value of the estates which they leave behind and the expectation that they will have had access to legal teams offering advice on...

Getting your house in order on property ownership rights

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Despite our best efforts, we can never predict the future with absolute certainty. However, we can make provision when our personal circumstances change to protect our interests in future years. For co-owners of property, this can be done by making formal...

Carer stripped of inheritance

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A recent case involving a carer who ended up in court after “guiding the hand” of a man as he lay dying centred on the validity of his Will and whether he was of sound mind when he signed it. The court found against the carer and...

The validity of Copy Wills

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Does the use of a copy Will and original codicil, in the absence of the original Will, presume that the testator intended to revoke the original Will? In Whitton v Herman 2016, the argument was considered that any revocation would be conditional on the...

The risks involved in homemade Wills

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The case of Richard Guest v. the Executors of Tracey Leaning has highlighted the importance of making a Will with a lawyer’s assistance and keeping it up-to-date. In an appearance on ITV’s This Morning and an interview with the Daily Mail in...

Judge awards part of £1.5m estate to deceased's partner

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In the latest of a string of similar rulings since the outcome of the Illot v Blue Cross case , the High Court has granted reasonable provision to a cohabitee who was left out of her late partner’s Will. Wynford Hodge had left the entirety of his...

Fraudulent calumny used to successfully challenge a Will

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Fraudulent calumny relates to situations where a person dishonestly poisons the mind of a testator against a potential beneficiary, thereby depriving them of a legacy. In the case of Christodoulides v Marcou, the High Court held that the daughter of the...

High Court denies claims under Inheritance Act 1975

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Two separate claims made under the Inheritance Act (Provision for Family and Dependants) 1975 have been denied on different grounds. In the case of Sargeant v Sargeant 2018 , a widow was refused permission to make a claim under the Act after the...

Outdated Wills - a cautionary tale

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If you already have a Will but have not updated it following a change in circumstances, then the outcome of Martin v Williams may prompt you into action. It also threw light on the rights of cohabitees to make claims for financial provision from the estate...

Can a Will be invalidated due to mistake?

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It’s easy to make a mistake, as the old saying goes. However, it’s not so easy for a mistake to invalidate a Will – in fact, it’s very difficult. In the case of Ball v Ball (2017), the High Court ruled that, for a claim to succeed...

Final decision for daughter excluded from mum's Will

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Final decision for daughter excluded from mum’s Will: Ilott v Mitson finally decided For background information see my previous post , dated 28 July 2015. This is the first time the provisions of the Inheritance (Provision for Family and...

Maintaining the status quo?

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After a year of high profile, and often unexpected, celebrity deaths, Rick Parfitt of Status Quo died on Christmas Eve 2016. In the short time since his death, national media has reported that Rick’s wife apparently told newspapers that Rick changed...

Difficulties administering an estate

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Taking on the role of a personal representative to administer a deceased person's estate is often carried out by a family member or by a solicitor instructed by that family member. A recent case in the High Court demonstrated a catalogue of undesirable...

Daughter excluded from Will faces appeal to Supreme Court

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In July 2015, we mentioned here that Heather Ilot successfully claimed £163,000 from her mother's estate following following a Court of Appeal decision against the four charities that her mother had wanted to inherit. By way of reminder, Mrs...

Challenge to a 12 million pound estate

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An interesting Court case has hit the headlines this week continuing the trend for high profile contested Wills and probate cases causing a media stir. A widow (Mrs Vindis) of a very wealthy English businessman (Mr Vindis) is challenging his Will, from...

A Prince-ly inheritance?

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So far, 2016 has taken its toll in terms of celebrity deaths, more recently the sudden death of music superstar Prince that has hit the headlines. Whilst Prince fans are devastated, what has animated lawyers is that (we believe) Prince did not leave a Will....

Daughter Wins 163,000 pounds in Landmark Legal Battle

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The recent news that an estranged daughter who had had no contact with her mother for 26 years is entitled to a third of her mother's estate, even though her mother had totally disinherited her from her Will, has raised the question of whether it's...

One day my lad this will all be yours

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Proprietary Estoppel in the High Court In May 2015, the High Court decided that promises made by a father to his son can override the terms of the father's Will. This meant that the son got what he was promised by his father over a series of many...

The issue with Wills and step-children

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With ever changing definitions of the traditional family unit, Will writers need to be on their guard as to how they prepare Wills for their clients. In a recent High Court decision, the Judge decided that the legal word "issue" in a Will (which...