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Wills, probate and administration

Wills – disclosure to attorneys and deputies

Law Society guidance on Access and disclosure of an incapacitated person’s will has been published in the form of a practice note and is relevant to all solicitors who store wills.

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Wills – dependency claim

A widow successfully appealed an award under the I(PFD)A which was made in favour of the testator’ long-term partner (P). The High Court ordered that a life interest in the testator’s half share of property was to vest in the widow (W).

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Contentious probate – update

In this article, the author summarises the latest and most notable of contentious probate and trust cases. In addition to the Ilott v Mitson case, the author highlights a case where the High Court affirms the use of single-stage test for determining knowledge and approval of a will, but cross-checks the conclusions reached with reference to the two-stage test (in either case, the answer should be the same).

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Wills – professional executors

The Law Society has issued useful guidance on the appointment of professional executors. The practice note, Appointment of a professional executor, is aimed at solicitors and law firms who provide wills and probate services, and for solicitors and firms retained by, or who have an economic relationship with, a third party selling its own executor services.

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Trusts-probate

A claim by the trustees of a religious charity for permanent injunctions against a former trustee was successful. The former trustee (the defendant, D) had been accused of misappropriating charity funds and passing off his activities as those of the charity.

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Wills – capacity

The High Court has rejected a claim of fraudulent calumny in a probate claim. The deceased had capacity when he signed his will, and knew and approved its contents, the court held in a case where it was also alleged that there was a contract to share the deceased’s estate.

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Trusts – tax avoidance

What’s the difference between legitimate tax arrangements and abusive tax avoidance? The author of this useful article highlights the difference following the media coverage concerning the late Duke of Westminster’s estate and his tax affairs. It was widely reported that tax had been avoided through the use of trusts, agricultural property relief and business property relief, all uncontroversial and legal ways of mitigating tax.

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Wills – the golden rule

  In this article the author looks at the court’s approach to testamentary capacity and the applicability of the ‘golden rule’ in a recent case.

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Court of Protection – vulnerable person

New guidance has been issued by Charles J on facilitating participation of P and vulnerable persons in Court of Protection proceedings. The guidance is not prescriptive, but gives useful suggestions as to how practitioners might consider enhancing the participation of P in CoP proceedings. The guidance is primarily aimed towards health and welfare cases in the CoP, though it may also assist in some property and affairs cases.

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Wills – terminology

The correct interpretation and construction of the terms of a will continues to exercise the courts. Here, the author discusses a recent case where the central issue was the meaning of ‘United Kingdom’ in the deceased’s will.

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Most-read articles

Trustees – duty to beneficiaries
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
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. Read more...
Conveyancing searches – disbursements?
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
Should electronic property searches be treated as disbursements for VAT purposes? Alternatively, are they part of the legal service provided, and so subject to VAT? Read more...
Professional – update
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
From December 2018 there will be new rules requiring firms to publish prices for conveyancing, probate, motoring offences and immigration, as well as the price for bringing ET claims.  Read more...
Service mistake – discretion?
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
To what extent do you have a duty to point out the other side’s procedural errors (as part of your obligation to comply with the ‘overriding objective’)? Read more...
Exiting the Portal – reasonable
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
Insurers should be very careful about making allegations (for instance, at Stage 2 of the EL/PL Protocol), especially if they could be interpreted as allegations of ‘dishonesty’. Read more...
Airbnb – breach of lease
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
It now seems clear that an Airbnb short let will be in breach of a typical long lease. Read more...
GDPR – data rooms
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
If L is planning to sell a property subject to leases, then almost certainly a data room will be set up containing all relevant documents. Read more...
Rights of way – public
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
There are four categories of public rights of way: Read more...
Financial remedies – company assets
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
A recent ruling illustrates when a court can treat a company-owned asset as as a matrimonial asset. Read more...
GDPR – references
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
GDPR impacts on the giving of references: Read more...

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