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Wills, probate and administration

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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Trusts – remuneration

A lay trustee acting gratuitously was ordered to refund money taken as salary, and was removed as a trustee, after his relationship with a trust beneficiary broke down. A family owned an estate held on trust which included a number of properties. The estate was low on funds. The properties included a house which was let; and a cottage occupied for a peppercorn rent by the half-brother of the claimant. The claimant was a beneficiary of the trust.

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Procedure – will; gifts to practitioners

The Law Society has issued an important practice note for practitioners preparing a will in circumstances where the client leaves a gift for the practitioner, or his/her family or colleagues.
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Probate – costs

The Rawlings case (see previous entry) continues to spurn much legal discussion, and the latest judgment – this time in relation to the issue of costs of rectification of a will – gives rise to further commentary on costs.
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Wills – costs; rectification

Where there is a reasonable but unsuccessful challenge to a will, the court will often order that all parties’ costs will come out of the estate. The latest Rawlings judgment specifically addresses the issue of the costs of rectification of a will.
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Trustees – sale of property

Trustees must ensure a decision to sell property is reasonable, and the process they follow to reach that decision is also reasonable. A ruling considered the extent of a trustee’s duty when seeking to sell property.
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Incapacity – deprivation of liberty

The Court of Protection has issued important guidance on a new ‘streamlined’ process to handle deprivation of liberty (DoL) cases in a manner compliant with human rights legislation.
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Probate – disputes

Wills and probate practitioners are increasingly alert to rulings involving disputed wills and probate. Two recent rulings provide useful guidance for lawyers. 
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Procedure – intestacy rules

Under the Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Act 2014, which came into force on 1 October 2014, the intestacy rules have now changed:
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Most-read articles

IHT – personal representatives’ liability
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PRs are personally liable for paying IHT on an estate, even where the beneficiaries undertake to pay it themselves but do not do so, the court has confirmed. Read more...
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The government has announced that it will reduce court staffing numbers from 16,500 to 10,000 by 2022. Read more...
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Assured shortholds – requirements
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A summary of the requirements for new lets of residential properties: Read more...
Rent reviews – which index?
Thursday, 14 June 2018
Rent under a lease may well be indexed – in which case, it is likely to be by reference to the retail price index (RPI). Read more...
Japanese knotweed – the cases
Thursday, 14 June 2018
Japanese knotweed is virtually irremovable; only the strongest chemicals will work against it, and simply digging out the roots is not sufficient. Read more...
Financial orders – future earning capacity
Thursday, 14 June 2018
H’s future earning capacity was not a matrimonial asset for the purposes of a financial settlement, the Court of Appeal has ruled. Read more...
Notice – start date?
Thursday, 14 June 2018
Suppose an employee is sent a letter of dismissal by post. The letter is delivered, but the employee is on holiday and says she did not read it until a later date. Read more...
Sentencing – hospital orders; hybrid orders
Thursday, 14 June 2018
In this article, the author (who represented the appellant) considers the making of hospital orders in criminal proceedings, and the use of hybrid orders, following a Court of Appeal ruling. Read more...

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