The Practical Lawyer

Wills, probate and administration

Court of Protection – capacity to marry

 A deputy failed to obtain a declaration from the COP that P lacked the capacity to marry. P suffers learning difficulties and he and his partner, with whom he has two children, intended to marry imminently.
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Civil partnerships – heterosexual couples

The Civil Partnership (Opposite-sex Couples) Regulations 2019 are in force as of 2 December 2019 and permit heterosexual couples to enter into civil partnerships.
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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Mistake led to a deed of appointment being rescinded by the court.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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Most-read articles

Civil partnerships – heterosexual couples
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
The Civil Partnership (Opposite-sex Couples) Regulations 2019 are in force as of 2 December 2019 and permit heterosexual couples to enter into civil partnerships. Read more...
VAT reverse charge – postponed
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
 A useful article analyses the potential implications of the reverse charge on VAT, which was due to be introduced for specified construction services in October 2019 but which has now been... Read more...
Electronic communications – practitioners beware
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
 A useful article by Hardwicke Chambers reminds practitioners of the risks of a hasty or ill thought out email or social media post. The writer cites a situation where an email from a solicitor to... Read more...
Jurisdictional challenges – the basics
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
An article considers a recent SC case in which litigants have been criticised for the way in which jurisdictional challenges are being conducted. The case concerned a group of some 1,800 Zambian... Read more...
LiPs – tips for dealing
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
Litigants in person (LiPs) are on the increase due in part to legal aid cuts and an increase in the small claims limit. Maintaining the balance of treating LiPs fairly, while also acting in the best... Read more...
‘Elevation’ – front and rear of building
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
 A 99-year lease contained a covenant prohibiting T from making any alterations to the elevation or external decoration of the property. Read more...
L changing locks – an act of surrender?
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
There are various ways in which a leasehold estate in land may come to an end. One of these is surrender by operation of law. Sometimes the surrender of a lease does not take place by deed but is... Read more...
Beneficial ownership – reminder of key points
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
Practitioners who advise co-owners on the acquisition of property will find a recent article reviewing the case law on beneficial ownership very useful. The key points are: Read more...
Sanctions – vexatious litigant
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
In long-running divorce and financial remedy proceedings, R was found to be an ‘exceptionally vexatious litigant’ throughout. Mostyn J made a general civil restraint order and a protection from... Read more...
Disciplinary process – external bodies
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
 A useful article considers two recent cases on the issues that can arise for employers carrying out a disciplinary procedure when an external body becomes involved eg a regulatory body, police, a... Read more...


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