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Wills, probate and administration

Dependency claims – cohabitees

A testator’s motive for not providing for a dependant under their will is not a sufficient reason for leaving the dependant without any provision. 
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Practice – distribution of assets; bankrupts

Caution must be exercised when distributing estate assets to insolvency beneficiaries because they may not be able to obtain a good receipt.
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Proprietary estoppel – significant detriment

The High Court has given useful guidance on how it will approach proprietary estoppel claims. 
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Probate – relief against forfeiture

A recent case in which an elderly man killed his wife and then himself illustrates the effect of the forfeiture rule, and the court’s power under the Forfeiture Act 1982 in some cases to modify the effect of the rule.

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Wills – testamentary capacity; proprietary estoppel

Testamentary capacity and proprietary estoppel have been considered in a High Court case, where the court confirmed that the Banks v Goodfellow test for testamentary capacity remains good law. In this case, a claim for proprietary estoppel was not made out.

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Court of Protection – trust deputies

How does the CoP approach an application to appoint a trust corporation as a deputy? HHJ Hilder has, in a recent CoP ruling involving 36 applicants and 11 trust corporations, analysed the law on the appointment of deputies.

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Wills – out of date

The author highlights the dangers of wills that are not kept under review, and are out of date at the date of the testator’s death.

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Procedure – personal income tax

At issue in this case was whether A owed HMRC a debt in excess of the current bankruptcy level of £5,000. If he did, HMRC could serve a statutory demand on him ahead of bankruptcy proceedings. HMRC claimed that A owed a debt under s59B(5) Taxes Management Act 1970 which applies to tax payable as a result of an amendment/correction of a self-assessment under s28 ATMA.

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Wills – dependant claims; adult children

The County Court has allowed an adult child ‘reasonable provision’ from her father’s (T) estate. This continues the recent trend allowing disinherited children a share of a deceased parent’s estate in specific circumstances.

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Procedure – CoP accredited legal representatives

The Law Society has published new practice guidance for lawyers seeking appointment, or acting, as accredited legal representatives (ALR) in the Court of Protection. The guidance applies only to situations where the ALR is acting for P (the subject of the proceedings) where P has been joined as a party.

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