Inheritance delays causing financial hardship for the bereaved – The Independent

Posted October 7th, 2020 in bereavement, coronavirus, delay, executors, families, news, probate, wills by tracey

‘With probate applications now taking three times longer to approve, more than 8,000 estates remain unclaimed.’

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The Independent, 6th October 2020

Source: www.independent.co.uk

How cohabiting couples should protect their finances – Family Law

‘Historically, cohabitation agreements, sometimes known as “no-Nups”, were frowned upon as they were seen to encourage sexual relations outside of marriage. Thankfully, times have moved on and that’s no longer the case. The general view is that such agreements are enforceable if they deal with cohabitees’ property and affairs, and provided they are entered into freely with full information. Often, disputes between cohabitees following separation relate to what was or wasn’t intended, for example, in relation to the property in which they live. Having a clear record of the cohabitees’ intentions in a cohabitation agreement can avoid expensive disputes about those issues.’

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Family Law, 30th September 2020

Source: www.familylaw.co.uk

Grounds for Setting Aside a Will: Undue Influence – Pallant Chambers

Posted July 30th, 2020 in news, setting aside, undue influence, wills by sally

‘The loss of a loved one is already an incredibly difficult and emotional time. Sometimes the situation is made worse by the discovery of suspicious circumstances surrounding the making of the will. This series of posts will examine some of the ways in which a will can be challenged.’

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Pallant Chambers, 22nd July 2020

Source: www.pallantchambers.co.uk

Video witnessing of wills to be made legal in England and Wales during pandemic – The Guardian

Posted July 27th, 2020 in coronavirus, news, video recordings, wills by sally

‘Video witnessing of wills is to be made legal in England and Wales to make it easier for people to record their final wishes during the coronavirus pandemic.’

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The Guardian, 25th July 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

Beware of issuing ‘hopeless’ Inheritance claims in expectation of settlement – St Ives Chambers

‘Ever since the well-known case of Ilott v The Blue Cross and others [2017] where an adult child was awarded £50,000 from her mother’s estate (notwithstanding their estrangement), practitioners are regularly approached by adult children in order to claim from an estranged relative’s inheritance. There is often reference to a “10% rule” based on what was awarded in Ilott.’

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St Ives Chambers, 3rd July 2020

Source: www.stiveschambers.co.uk

Why the rise in contentious probate cases is set to continue – Legal Futures

Posted July 7th, 2020 in fees, law firms, news, probate, wills by sally

‘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.’

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Legal Futures, 6th July 2020

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

Why victims can sometimes inherit from their abusers- even if they kill them – OUP Blog

‘It is a basic rule of English law that a person who kills someone should not inherit from their victim. The justification behind the rule, known as the forfeiture rule, is that a person should not benefit from their crimes and therefore forfeits entitlement. Many other jurisdictions have the same basic rule for fundamental reasons of public policy, including the need to avoid incentivising homicide. Importantly, however, Parliament passed the Forfeiture Act 1982 to give courts in England and Wales discretion to modify the application of the rule in certain cases, so that some people could inherit from those they had killed after all. Such modification is also possible in some other jurisdictions: It allows judges to consider individual circumstances where the blanket application of a forfeiture rule would cause injustice.’

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OUP Blog, 3rd July 2020

Source: blog.oup.com

Special Dispensations: coronavirus puts informal wills back on the agenda – Hardwicke Chambers

Posted June 12th, 2020 in chambers articles, coronavirus, news, probate, wills by sally

‘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.’

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Hardwicke Chambers, 3rd June 2020

Source: hardwicke.co.uk

I do declare! Could a test case on remote witnessing wills be brought before death? – Hardwick Chambers

Posted June 10th, 2020 in chambers articles, coronavirus, executors, news, wills by sally

‘In this post, I address the question of whether or not a test case on remote witnessing could be brought now by a testator who has attempted to make a will using videoconferencing technology.’

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Hardwicke Chambers, 1st June 2020

Source: hardwicke.co.uk

Success fees in 1975 Act claims: SH v NH [2020] EWHC 1134 – New Square Chambers

Posted June 10th, 2020 in chambers articles, costs, families, fees, news, solicitors, wills by sally

‘The Family Division has determined that a claimant’s success fee should be awarded to her as part of her award under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.’

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New Square Chambers, June 2020

Source: www.newsquarechambers.co.uk

Solicitor and wife witness client’s will via WhatsApp video – Legal Futures

Posted June 3rd, 2020 in coronavirus, executors, news, solicitors, telecommunications, wills by sally

‘A solicitor and his wife have used WhatsApp video to witness a will made by a man who was very ill with Covid-19, it has emerged.’

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Legal Futures, 2nd June 2020

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

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