Causing the death of another and the Forfeiture Rule: Amos v Mancini [2020] EWHC 1063 (Ch) – New Square Chambers

Posted May 29th, 2020 in dangerous driving, forfeiture, married persons, news, wills by sally

‘In January 2019 Mrs Amos, aged 74, was driving with her husband near their home in Llandeilo, when they collided with the car in front. Her husband later died from his injuries and Mrs Amos pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving and was given a suspended prison sentence and disqualified from driving. The question arose whether she was prevented from benefitting under her husband’s will, or from receiving by survivorship his share of their home, which was owned as beneficial joint tenants.’

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New Square Chambers, 12th May 2020

Source: www.newsquarechambers.co.uk

Dealing with estate administration – Family Law

‘It is the job of Executors (appointed under a Will) or Administrators (entitled by law where there is no Will) to deal with administering the estate of someone who has died.’

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Family Law, 22nd May 2020

Source: www.familylaw.co.uk

Sally Challen can inherit controlling husband’s estate, rules judge – The Guardian

‘A woman who won an appeal over her conviction for murdering her controlling husband can inherit his estate, a judge has ruled.’

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The Guardian, 27th May 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

Wills in the time of coronavirus: law reform, statutory dispensing powers and a receipe for chili sauce – Hardwicke Chambers

Posted May 18th, 2020 in chambers articles, coronavirus, news, wills by sally

‘The Law Society and the Ministry of Justice are understood to be continuing to discuss possible solutions to the difficulties of making wills during the coronavirus pandemic. Although lockdown measures are starting to loosen, concerns about the risks posed by face to face meetings and home visits are likely to persist for some time and the needs of people who are shielding, in hospital, or living in residential care, present a particular challenge when it comes to the process of making and attesting a Will.’

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Hardwicke Chambers, 15th May 2020

Source: hardwicke.co.uk

Make bedside oral wills legal during pandemic, UK campaigners urge – The Guardian

‘Oral wills should be made legal during the coronavirus pandemic in the same way that they are permitted in times of war, say campaigners.’

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The Guardian, 2nd May 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

Witnessing an Execution: What Does s1 of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989 Require Today? – Falcon Chambers

Posted April 21st, 2020 in chambers articles, documents, electronic filing, internet, news, wills by sally

‘There have been two recent thought-provoking articles on whether documents which require a signature to be witnessed (that is, wills and deeds) can be witnessed either “virtually” in real-time (with attestation[1] by the witness on a separate counterpart simultaneously, with the execution being observed online) or after the event (with the execution being witnessed online, and the document then being posted to and subsequently attested by the witness).’

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Falcon Chambers, April 2020

Source: www.falcon-chambers.com

Tribunal “incredulous” after firm secretary ends up in client’s will – Legal Futures

‘An employment tribunal has expressed its “incredulity” at the way a solicitor’s former secretary befriended one of his clients and ended up in the client’s will.’

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Legal Futures, 21st April 2020

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

Will construction—failure of trust (Jeffreys and others v Scruton and others) – Wilberforce Chambers

Posted March 17th, 2020 in chambers articles, news, trusts, wills by sally

‘The Will established a discretionary trust for the testatrix’s issue with a standard power to add any person as an additional beneficiary during the 80-year trust period and wide powers to appoint and apply capital and income. It directed that ‘in default of and subject to any exercise of’ those powers, the trustees should hold the trust fund (i) on expiry of the trust period for her issue (if any) then living and (ii) ‘if at any time the trusts declared by the foregoing provisions fail’ on trust for her nephews and nieces absolutely (subject to attaining age 18 or previously marrying). The testatrix had one child, who predeceased her. The question raised by the trustees was whether the power to add a beneficiary remained exercisable, or whether the trust fund was held exclusively for the nephews and nieces. The court held that upon the testatrix’s death the discretionary trusts had failed—that the power to add was not exercisable—and that the trust fund was accordingly held on trust for the class of nephews and nieces entitled under Clause 5(c)(iii) of the Will.’

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Wilberforce Chambers, 12th March 2020

Source: www.wilberforce.co.uk

Challenging suspicious wills – Radcliffe Chambers

Posted February 11th, 2020 in chambers articles, fraud, news, undue influence, wills by sally

‘In this paper, Charles Holbech explores in detail the different grounds of invalidity on which a claimant might rely when challenging a suspicious will, including undue influence, fraudulent calumny, want of knowledge and approval, testamentary incapacity and lack of due execution.’

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Radcliffe Chambers, 5th February 2020

Source: radcliffechambers.com

Civil partnerships for heterosexual couples: what you need to know – Family Law

‘As of 31st December 2019, it is now possible for both same-sex and heterosexual couples to enter into a civil partnership. The institution was initially devised solely for same-sex couples through the Civil Partnership Act 2004; it was meant to be a distinct separate relationship status for same-sex couples akin, but different to, a marriage. This has now changed and moving into 2020, heterosexual couples may opt for a civil partnership instead of a marriage.’

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Family Law, 5th February 2020

Source: www.familylaw.co.uk

Naturalist who wanted to rewild family farm loses 15-year legal battle with his brother, as judge rules he cannot prevent sale – Daily Telegraph

‘A naturalist who wanted to rewild the family farm has lost a 15-year legal battle with his brother after a judge ruled he cannot prevent the sale.’

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Daily Telegraph, 23rd January 2020

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

Some oddities of the law on age: So you thought you reached age 21 on your 21st birthday? – Wilberforce Chambers

Posted January 9th, 2020 in news, pensions, statutory interpretation, time limits, wills by sally

‘Well, yes you probably did as a legal matter reach (or attain) age 21 at the start of your 21st birthday – ie at midnight at the start of that day (even if you had been born later in the day). But legally this has not always been the case in England and Wales.’

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Wilberforce Chambers, 7th January 2020

Source: www.wilberforce.co.uk

‘Unwanted’ son wins £125k slice of father’s fortune at High Court, after judge rules he was misled over parent’s favouritism – Daily Telegraph

Posted December 13th, 2019 in families, financial dispute resolution, news, wills by sally

‘A pensioner who was cut out of his father’s £2.4m will because he was an “unwanted war baby” has won his fight for a slice of the family fortune.’

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Daily Telegraph, 12th December 2019

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

Section 4 Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975: Standstill Agreements – Becket Chambers

Posted December 10th, 2019 in news, stay of proceedings, time limits, trusts, wills by sally

‘Earlier this year the conflicting authorities of Bhusate v Patel [2019] EWHC 470 (Ch) and Cowan v Foreman and others [2019] EWHC 349 (Fam) cast doubt on the use of standstill agreements in respect of claims intended to be brought under section 2 of the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (“the Act”). Following the determination of the appeal in the latter case that uncertainty has to a large extent been resolved.’

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Becket Chambers, 4th December 2019

Source: becket-chambers.co.uk

Fraudulent Calumny: Poison in the Ear – Family Law

Posted December 10th, 2019 in misrepresentation, news, undue influence, wills by sally

‘Fraudulent calumny is a mouthful. It is therefore all the more surprising when I hear it come out of the mouths of lay clients when I first speak to them. Three years ago “fraudulent calumny” was at the back of practitioners’ minds; I certainly would not have heard it from clients. We may have been talking about similar facts but those discussions would always have been about undue influence and pressure on the testator (usually, to the caller’s detriment). Recently, however, something has changed, and we have seen a real growth in discussions around fraud in the creation of wills.’

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Family Law, 10th December 2019

Source: www.familylaw.co.uk

Mediating Contested Wills Claims – Patrick Taylor – 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square

Posted November 26th, 2019 in dispute resolution, news, wills by sally

‘I am regularly appointed to mediate disputes about the validity of a will. Almost by definition they involve claims by family members against other family members.’

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4-5 Gray's Inn Square, 7th November 2019

Source: www.4-5.co.uk

‘Power of attorney more important than will’, says widow – BBC News

Posted November 18th, 2019 in bereavement, documents, news, powers of attorney, wills by sally

‘The wife of a man who died in an electric skateboard crash has spoken of the importance of a legal document that let him “die with dignity”.’

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BBC News, Novembet 2019

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Maids Moreton: Ben Field jailed for author’s murder – BBC News

Posted October 18th, 2019 in murder, news, poisoning, sentencing, wills by tracey

‘A churchwarden who murdered an author to inherit his estate has been jailed for a minimum of 36 years.’

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BBC News, 18th October 2019

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Godparent v guardian – Family Law

Posted October 8th, 2019 in children, guardianship, news, wills by tracey

‘Many parents assume that if they have appointed a godparent for their child, that the godparent will be able to step in to take care of the children if they were to die, but this is not the case.’

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Family Law, 7th October 2019

Source: www.familylaw.co.uk

Battle between stepsisters in ‘who died first’ dispute comes to an end – Family Law

Posted September 9th, 2019 in bereavement, families, financial dispute resolution, intestacy, news, wills by tracey

‘The “Commorientes Rule” is (meaning “simultaneous deaths”) found in Section 184 of the Law of Property Act 1925. This rule states that if two or more people die in circumstances where it is not possible to determine who died first, the younger is deemed to survive the elder.’

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Family Law, 6th September 2019

Source: www.familylaw.co.uk