The Practical Lawyer

Wills, probate and administration

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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Wills – trusts

The court applied the natural meaning of the words used by a will which, in the Lucien Freud case (see previous entry), helped clarify issues of drafting in relation to secret and half-secret trusts.
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Wills – construction

In the recent Lucien Freud case, the High Court set out the correct principles to be applied when construing wills. The author of this useful article says the case is considered by many to be an arcane distinction between secret and half-secret trusts.
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Wills – client care

Contested wills and estates are increasing, and advice and guidance for practitioners should be welcomed so that they can take the necessary action to mitigate the risk of negligence. In this useful article, the author reminds practitioners that good client care should be essential to will writing.

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Wills – possessions

In an age where people increasingly own non-tangible assets including music, Facebook accounts and online bank accounts, for instance, practitioners should be considering these issues when advising their clients. In particular, the legal and practical risks involved in recording the identity of such assets should be considered.

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Procedure – presumption of death

The Presumption of Death Act 2013 is expected to become law on 1 October 2014 and will introduce a presumption of death procedure in England and Wales. Private client practitioners are advised to familiarise themselves with the provisions ahead of the implementation date.

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Court of Protection – deprivation of liberty

An important Supreme Court ruling involving the Court of Protection could result in many applications to authorise the living arrangements of individuals in a variety of settings. In this case two sisters and another (P) lacked capacity to make decisions regarding their own living arrangements.

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Most-read articles

Court of Protection – trust deputies
Friday, 13 April 2018
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... Read more...
Professional – update
Friday, 13 April 2018
 A reminder that internal e-mails can result in SRA action; for a case involving sexist, racist and homophobic e-mails sent to a work colleague see [2018] LSG 12 February 2. Read more...
CFA – assignment
Friday, 13 April 2018
The introduction of LASPO in April 2013 caused problems for clients who already had CFAs, but then wanted to move to another firm. Read more...
Agent of change – new builds?
Friday, 13 April 2018
The ‘agent of change’ principle has been hotly debated in planning circles for some time. Indeed, the concept is likely to feature in the revised National Planning Policy Framework and the draft... Read more...
Withdrawing admissions – increase in value?
Friday, 13 April 2018
Suppose a defendant is faced with a low-value claim and decides to admit liability; later, it turns out that there is a significant increase in the value of the claim. At that stage, can the... Read more...
Service charges – estoppel?
Friday, 13 April 2018
Suppose service charges have been raised for many years in a way that does not properly accord with the wording of the lease; if T subsequently questions those service charges, can L argue that... Read more...
Service charges – code of practice
Friday, 13 April 2018
The RICS has published the proposed changes to its Code of Practice on service charges. The important change is that RICS members must act in accordance with eight core principles; the Code is no... Read more...
Japanese knotweed – nuisance
Friday, 13 April 2018
One of the (potentially) most important decisions last year was a humble county court case in which it was held Network Rail was liable after Japanese knotweed grew close to neighbouring terraced... Read more...
Adoption – new regulations
Friday, 13 April 2018
 A number of new provisions in relation to adoption are in force (as of 5 January 2018) under the Adoption and Care Planning (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2018. Read more...
Sickness – on holiday
Friday, 13 April 2018
 A worker who falls ill during annual leave is entitled to take that holiday leave at a later date. This is so whether the sickness commenced before, or during, the holiday. Read more...


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