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Wills, probate and administration

Probate – dependency claims

A summary judgment application has been deferred in a case raising issues relating to the IPFDA 1975. 

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Procedure – Court of Protection

Practitioners are advised to prepare for the implementation of The Court of Protection (Amendment) Rules 2015 which amend the Court of Protection Rules 2007, introducing important changes. The majority of the Rules come into force on 1 July 2015. Changes include:

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Probate – proprietary estoppel

The High Court has given important guidance on the court’s approach to claims of proprietary estoppel where a claim was made against a deceased estate. For a successful claim of proprietary estoppel, the claimant must show these three facts:

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Court of Protection – breach of declaration

The breach of a declaration of the Court of Protection cannot hold the same weight as the breach of a court order. The CoP considered a breach of a ‘best interests’ decision made under the MCA 2005 was sufficient to create a legal power from which to commence contempt proceedings.

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Trustee in bankruptcy – pensions

The High Court has disagreed with its earlier ruling in a similar case and rejected an application from a trustee in bankruptcy for access to the pensions of a bankrupt – which were not yet in payment.

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Wills – caution against asset

In this useful article, the author looks at matters that should be considered in applications to vacate a caution entered against estate assets. In a recent case, a claim was made under the I(PFD)A 1975 by the testator’s two sons who had been excluded from the will. T was a farmer who had inherited a farm from his parents, in equal shares with his sister.

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Probate – lifetime gifts

Does a beneficiary have a duty to the executor to reveal a lifetime gift made by the testator? Yes, says the First Tier Tax Tribunal. In this case, the beneficiary of his father’s will was penalised for failing to reveal to the executors a substantial lifetime gift – despite a number of requests – and received an £87,000 penalty from HMRC.

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Court of Protection – habitual residence

Guidance on the appropriate test to determine habitual residence in Court of Protection cases has been given. At issue was where an adult (SW), who lacked capacity to decide where to live and the true nature of her care needs, was habitually resident for the purposes of determining whether the English court had jurisdiction to deal with MCA 2005 applications.

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Capacity – deprivation of liberty

The Court of Protection has supplemented and elaborated on questions of law arising out of a recent deprivation of liberty case involving adults who lacked capacity.

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Wills – family provision

A claim against an estate for reasonable provision failed on the facts which included the claimant’s behaviour towards her mother, the testator.

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