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Wills, probate and administration

Court of Protection – advance decisions

An advance decision is an important tool and should be discussed with as much regularity as wills and LPAs for anyone involved in estate planning. The author of this useful article questions whether the heartache surrounding a recent CoP case would have been avoided had the patient completed an advance decision using the mechanism available under ss24-26 MCA.

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Procedure – COP rules

Amendments to the Court of Protection Rules 2007 are now in force. Rules 5 and 6 of the Court of Protection (Amendment) Rules 2017 allow for the CoP to make civil restraint orders. Rule 5 now defines a ‘civil restraint order’ as:

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Procedure – gifts of assets

Law Society guidance on Making gifts of assets has been issued. The Law Society highlights the issue in circumstances where clients may ask practitioners for advice about transferring property or investments to their next of kin, family members or friends, before their death, as a means of planning for their future care. The Law Society warns that a solicitor could be implicated if found to have aided a client’s deliberate deprivation of assets.

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Court of Protection – health and social care services

What is the role of the CoP where there is a dispute between providers or funders of health or social care services for someone lacking capacity to make decisions for themselves and family members about what should be provided for them?

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Wills – dependency claim

The Court of Appeal’s order in the high-profile case of Ilott gave little weight to the testator’s very clear wishes and the long period of estrangement between her and her daughter, the claimant in the case.

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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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Most-read articles

Constructive trusts – property
Wednesday, 12 September 2018
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... Read more...
Professional negligence – adjudication
Wednesday, 12 September 2018
The Professional Negligence Adjudication Scheme is run by the Professional Negligence Bar Association. It offers a voluntary ADR procedure, modelled on the adjudication system in construction... Read more...
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Ls should be aware of the environmental enforcement obligations that may be incurred as a result of T’s activities. Read more...
Part 36 – late acceptance
Wednesday, 12 September 2018
If a Part 36 offer is accepted out of time (ie outside the 21 day period) in a low value protocol case, then what are the costs consequences? In particular, does late acceptance mean a liability to... Read more...
HMOs – new rules
Wednesday, 12 September 2018
The definition of house in multiple occupation (HMO) changes on 1 October 2018. The new definition covers properties occupied by five or more people, comprising two or more separate households. Read more...
Energy efficiency – reassessment by T?
Wednesday, 12 September 2018
The Energy Efficiency (MEES) Regs mean it is no longer possible to grant new leases to properties with an EPC of F or G. Moreover, existing lettings of F and G properties will become unlawful from... Read more...
Knotweed – nuisance
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Last year, we had county court claims in Cardiff and Truro in which it was held that the encroachment of Japanese knotweed would be actionable as a ‘private nuisance’. The Cardiff cases have now... Read more...
Procedure – expert witnesses
Wednesday, 12 September 2018
Expert witnesses must comply with court rules and related guidance appropriate to their area of expertise. New guidance for paediatric expert witnesses in family proceedings has now been issued. Read more...
Self-employed – or worker?
Wednesday, 12 September 2018
The Pimlico Plumbers case was seen as a victory for workers in the gig economy, with the Supreme Court looking at the reality of the relationship (rather than the legal labels attached). So, what... Read more...
Offences – mens rea
Wednesday, 12 September 2018
This was a pre-trial appeal of a ruling at a preparatory hearing. The two appellants (A) faced charges under s17 Terrorism Act 2000 of sending money overseas, or arranging to do so, knowing or having... Read more...

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