‘There is no doubt that contentious probate work is growing. We do not like paying more than a couple of hundred pounds for a will, but then are seemingly happy to spend thousands taking our relatives to court, and the two do not sit happily together.’
Legal Futures, 6th July 2020
‘The exigencies of the coronavirus pandemic, which has led to a high demand for will writing services, and the challenges of meeting that demand whilst observing social distancing, have brought the issue of will reform into sharp focus. At a time when technology provides a solution to so many of the problems that we currently face, the insistence on wet ink and the physical presence of witnesses for the making of a valid will appears increasingly archaic. Citing the dignity and peace of mind that putting one’s affairs in order brings and the urgent need people have to make provision for those they may leave behind, Gina Miller and Baroness Helena Kennedy QC have this month called on the government to extend the provisions relating to privileged (wartime) wills to the current situation so as to allow purely oral testamentary statements to be admitted to probate.’
Hardwicke Chambers, 3rd June 2020
‘Conditional fee agreements have been a facet of contentious probate and estates litigation for many years and are, in many cases, the only realistic way for disappointed beneficiaries to fund litigation. This is particularly true of claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.’
St John's Buildings, May 2020
‘Children jailed for criminal offences are being “set up to fail” by authorities who fail to give them the support they need to stop offending, a watchdog has found. Half of the 12 to 17-year-old boys whose cases were examined by HM Inspectorates of Probation and Prisons, were being investigated by police again within three months of being released from young offender institutions.’
The Independent, 8th October 2019
‘On 13 October, the High Court handed down the judgment Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council & Ors v Robin Makin & Ors  EWHC Case No: HC-2017-002064 (Ch) concerning the arrangements for the disposal of the body of Ian Stewart-Brady, formerly Ian Brady (the “deceased”), one of the infamous Moors murderers. We posted some initial comments based upon the Court’s judgment and the Summary which it produced “to assist in understanding the Court’s decision”.’
Law & Religion UK, 8th November 2017
‘Controversial plans to raise the legal fees payable after death are to be scrapped ahead of the general election.
Probate fees had been due to rise from £155 or £215 to up to £20,000 for some estates in England and Wales from May.
The Ministry of Justice said there was now not enough time for the legislation – dubbed a “stealth death tax” by critics – to go through Parliament.’
BBC News, 21st April 2017
‘Government plans to raise £300m by increasing probate fees – payable when claiming inheritances – may not be legally enforceable, a parliamentary committee has said. A report by the joint committee on statutory instruments has suggested that the Ministry of Justice may not have the authority to introduce the charges of up to £20,000 per estate.’
The Guardian, 6th April 2017