Dispute Resolution

 

Banks v Goodfellow test upheld by the High Court in recent will dispute case

In the recent case of  Clitheroe v Bond [2021] EWHC 1102 (Ch),  the landmark test established in  Banks v Goodfellow [1870]  for assessing testamentary capacity has been upheld by the High Court. The facts of the case concerned Jean...

Probate has been stopped by a caveat, can I remove it?

The issue of caveats arises frequently in will disputes and contentious probate cases. A caveat is a formal notice which is lodged at the probate registry which stops a grant of probate or a grant of letters of administration being extracted. The lodging...

The death of HRH Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh

The nation is in a state of mourning after the death of the Queen’s husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, aged 99. When a person dies, one of the most important questions is who will inherit that person’s property. Whilst Prince Philip...

Contested will of £900,000 estate amended by the High Court in recent case

In the recent case of  Mundil-Williams v Williams and others [2021] EWHC 586 (Ch) ,   the High Court considered the last valid will of Mr John Williams, who died in 2017 at the age of 91. He had four sons, first Timothy, who was the claimant in...

My step-father has died and he has left me out of his will. Can I bring a claim?

If you have been left out of a will, the operation of the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, “the Act”, allows certain categories of people to apply for financial provision from the estate following the testator’s...

Family feud ensues over disputed 'DIY' will of £300,000 estate

Mr William Tibbles, a former car dealer, passed away at the age of 75 in February 2018. Mr Tibbles had five children, comprising of his four daughters Terri and Kelly (who were twins), Susan and Cindy, and a son, Paul. The first will, drafted by solicitors...

My Mum has dementia. Can she still make a will?

With cases on the rise, today’s blog explores the issue of dementia in relation to making a will. One million people in the UK are expected to have dementia by 2025, increasing to two million by 2050, according to recent research produced by...

COVID-19 and insurance: can you recover your lockdown losses from your insurer?

COVID-19 and insurance: can you recover your lockdown losses from your insurer? On 15 January 2021, the Supreme Court handed down a high profile judgment which is likely to result in a significant number of insurance pay outs for small businesses. The...

Can I exclude my children from inheriting under my will?

The decision of who to leave your estate to after you die is arguably the most personal aspect of writing a will. Sometimes, perhaps because of relationship breakdown, you may wish to exclude immediate family from inheriting under your will. Alternatively,...

Ambiguous will of former professional British racing driver considered by the High Court

The recent case of Knipe v British Racing Drivers’ Motor Sport Charity and others [2020] EWHC 3295 (Ch) concerned the will of former British racing driver, Barrie Russell Williams. Mr Williams, a respected figure on the British racing circuit and...

Can my stepmother leave her estate to her own children and exclude me from her will?

As a starting point, a testator has testamentary freedom to choose who they want their Estate to go to, under English law. It demonstrates the testator’s wishes. An exception to this is where a will is found to be invalid. This can happen for many...

What is a probate caveat and how do I remove it?

What is a probate caveat? A caveat is a formal notice that is filed with the Probate Registry. It is used to prevent a grant of probate being obtained and can often indicate the start of a will dispute claim. This means that the estate cannot be...

Is a "no-contest" clause in a Will legally binding?

Inheritance disputes often stem from Wills being challenged for multiple reasons. For example, a testator might have been unduly influenced into making a Will in the way they have, or the testator lacked the necessary mental capacity to make it. The case...

If my partner dies, do I have any rights of inheritance?

Under the rules of intestacy, which apply where someone dies without making a Will, a married partner will automatically receive the residuary estate of their spouse on death. Unmarried couples do not have this same level of legal protection, and parents,...

Testamentary Capacity and Covid-19

A person making a will must fulfil the test for testamentary capacity, in that they must: 1. Understand the nature of making a will and its effects; 2. Understand and appreciate the claims to which they ought to give effect; 3. Understand the extent of...

Inheritance Disputes and Jointly Owned Property

Property owned by two or more persons can be owned as either joint tenants, or tenants in common. Joint tenants own 100 per cent of the property together, whereas tenants in common each own a specific share in the property (often 50/50).  The right of...

Are relatives related only by marriage included in a will?

The recent case of Re the Estate of Peter Henry Wales [2020] EWHC 1979 (Ch) involved a claim brought by the executors of a will. A key provision of the will left the deceased’s residuary estate to “all of my nephew’s and niece’s...

Undue Influence Claim Rejected By The Court

Coles v Reynolds & Anor [2020] EWHC 2151 (Ch) was a claim brought by the first daughter (the Claimant) of the deceased against the second daughter (the Defendant). The Claimant claimed that the deceased had been unduly influenced to create a will which...

Remote signing of wills welcomed by Law Society

In June, we discussed the risk of the work arounds some solicitors were trying to use when having wills signed.  After petitioning to government, the Law Society has convinced the government to allow remote witnessing over a video link for the time...

Deed of trust proves intention in recent inheritance dispute

In 2016, Mrs Wilcox died. She had made a will in 2014 which was written by her son Edward and witnessed by his friend and his friend’s wife. In that will, she left her property to her son. Mrs Wilcox’s other children, Lesley and Dennis, argued...
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