The Judgement of the Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Ilott v The Blue Cross and others  UKSC 17 [also known as Ilott v Mitson] was given this morning. The decision of the Supreme Court. unanimously overturned that of the Court of Appeal which allowed an adult child to claim against the estate of her late mother even though she excluded her from inheriting under the terms of her Will. The Court of Appeal had awarded Heather Ilott £143,000 to buy the rented home in which she lived with her husband and children as well as an extra £20,000 additional income. The judgement means that the decision of the pervious District Judge will be re-instated leaving Ilott with the original award of £50,000.
The High Court has recently found in the case of Moore v Moore  EWHC 2202 Ch that a father could not change his Will so as to prevent his son receiving sole ownership of a family farm.
A recent case in the Central London County Court demonstrates the difficulties faced by adult children in claiming reasonable financial provision from the Estate of a parent.
The recent case of Lloyd v Jones and others  EWHC 1308 has provided insight into the Court’s approach when it considers a challenge to a Will based on lack of capacity.
The Deceased and testatrix was Mrs Harris was held to have had capacity at the time she made her will against evidence to the contrary which alleged that the testatrix had been suffering with delusions of witches and space beings at her farm.
In the case of Wilby v Rigby , the court held under s50 of the Administration of Estates Act 1985 that both executors of an estate were to be removed in favour of an independent administrator. The executors and parties were brother and sister, both appointed equally with equal shares in the estate.
A solicitor has been said to be negligent by a Judge and left two beneficiaries £62,500 short of their intended legacy although the dispute had already been settled.
Joy Williams lived with her partner, Norman Martin for 18 years before he died in 2012 without leaving a Will. This week, the Court ruled that Ms Williams may keep his share of the house which legally would have passed to his estranged wife.
It is important to distinguish between a contested will and contesting probate.
If there are concerns about the validity of a will then you may be able to contest it. The first step when you have concerns about the validity of a will is to apply for a caveat. This is by way of application to the Probate Registry. The cost of applying for a caveat is relatively small and we can assist you with this. This will ensure a grant of probate cannot be taken out for a period of six months.
It is fundamentally important to establish the correct time limit at the outset of any claim. There are a number of possible time limits in probate and inheritance claims, which will all depend upon the individual circumstances of each case. Contesting a will can be tricky, there are a number of different avenues to potentially follow, and so it is important you seek legal advice about contesting a will and time limits for contesting a will as quickly as possible.
In the recent Supreme Court case of Marley v Rawlings and another, a solicitor’s insurer has been ordered to pay the costs of both parties in litigation after mirror wills were incorrectly executed as a result of a solicitor’s negligence. The insurer was ordered to pay both parties costs of the action to rectify the wills on the basis that the insurer had funded the litigation by urging one of the parties to commence litigation in order to mitigate the insured solicitor’s position.
We are often approached by individuals seeking advice on how to contest the validity of a will. Often, the answer is not straight-forward, and the merits of contesting the validity of a will are dependant of the facts of each individual case.
Here, in the first of three blogs, we consider some of the grounds for contesting a will:
Latest blog from our Wills, Trusts & Probate department.
The recent case of Randall v Randall [2014 EWHC 3134] has shone a bright light on the question of who has the right to challenge a Will. Essentially, the person bringing the action must have an interest in the estate. So the question then is, what is an interest in an estate for these purposes?
Two recent cases illustrate the dim view which the Court of Protection takes when an attorney helps themselves to the assets of the person they are looking after (“the Donor”).
In both the cases, it is striking that the attorney had an excellent relationship with the Donor and looked after them with proper care and affection. However, this did not stop the Court from revoking the powers of attorney and doling out some heavy criticism.
Figures released by the High Court show that claims against executors have tripled in twelve months.
In 2013, 368 claims were lodged against executors for breach of fiduciary duty, as compared with 107 in 2012.
This statistic comes as no surprise to us at Myerson.
In an interesting ruling last week, the High Court reaffirmed the principle that, in certain circumstances, a person can inherit from an estate based solely upon a promise.
In this case, the carer of a Holocaust survivor won her right to an inheritance against a TV “heir hunter”. Mrs Gertrude Stanley made London her home after fleeing Vienna in 1939.
Mrs Stanley did not believe she had any living relatives, her sister having died in a concentration camp.
The court has ruled in the favour of 58 year old Kenneth King meaning he will inherit his aunt’s £350,000 house.
Mr King resided in his aunt’s property from June 2007 and is said to have cared for her in her old age. Under her Will, the aunt, Miss Fairbrother, left her estate to seven animal charities but Mr King argued that shortly before her death, Miss Fairbrother gifted him her property by handing over the deeds and stated that he was to have the house when she had died.
Latest blog from our Wills, Trusts & Probate department.
Many people are now aware of the ability to bring a claim against a deceased’s estate under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (“IPFDA”). In order for a claim to be successful the applicant must overcome two hurdles.