The Practical Lawyer

Wills, probate and administration

Trusts – conflicting clauses

The claimants – the two daughters of CP who died in March 2015, and his wife JP who died in July 2005 – executed a deed of settlement in respect of the property in 2005. The defendants were the first claimant’s husband and three sons, and the AG (representing charity).

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Procedure – professional executors

The Law Society has published practice guidance for solicitors – and all will writing practitioners – whose clients are considering appointing a professional executor in their wills. Potential executors must give clients enough information to make an informed decision about the appointment and its related costs.

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Wills – interpretation

The correct approach when interpreting an ambiguous will clause is essentially the same as interpreting a contract.

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Constructive trusts – property

The author gives a helpful analysis of a ruling following a claim to establish a constructive trust or proprietary estoppel in respect of a domestic property. The deceased died intestate while living with his partner (the defendant, D) at his property in Weston super Mare.

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Wills – joint bank accounts

In the absence of a later variation or contrary agreement, the surviving joint account holder of a bank account was fully entitled to the balance on the other account holder’s death.

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Wills – gift to solicitors

The Law Society has issued important guidance for practitioners who are asked to prepare wills by clients who want to leave a gift to them, their family or colleagues.

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Wills – proprietary estoppel

Another farm; another proprietary estoppel claim made out.

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Trustees – duty to beneficiaries

Trustees cannot simply ignore beneficiaries’ request for information about a trust, the High Court has held. In this case, the trust property was a farm outside Cardiff.

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Procedure – LPAs

The Law Society has updated its practice guidance on lasting powers of attorney, in light of the latest developments.

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Powers of attorney – refunds of fees

Those who registered an LPA or EPA with the Office of the Public Guardian between April 2013 and 31 March 2017 can reclaim a portion of the fees paid, under new rules.

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