Mazzoleni v Summerhill Trust Company (Isle of Man) Ltd [2021] WTLR 1409

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Winter 2021 #185

In 1994, by a series of trust deeds, Mrs Pesenti established four settlements in the Isle of Man known as the RR1, RR2, RR3 and RR4 Trusts, each of which was for the benefit of one of her children and his/her heirs. The RR2 Trust (the trust), which alone formed the subject of this case, took as its beneficiaries the appellant and her issue born before the perpetuity date, together with two named charities. The dispositive provisions of the trust required the trustees to hold the trust fund and its income on discretionary trusts for all or such one or more exclusively of the others or oth...

Will construction: Context is key

Interpreting wills is not a question of dictionary definitions. Elis Gomer examines a case that underscores this principle It is unhelpful to stick too dogmatically to the ‘dictionary’ meaning of a word or term when there is a likelihood that it is being used – for whatever reason – in an unconventional way. The recent …
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Thomas v Thomas & ors [2021] WTLR 1091

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Autumn 2021 #184

Elizabeth Thomas (Elizabeth) passed away in 2018, leaving a will dated 30 September 2004. She was survived by her three sons, David, Owen and Gareth, and her 13 grandchildren.

Her will included, among others the following terms:

‘If my husband has [predeceased me]… I leave my property to be divided amongst my sons and their heirs. At present, these are as follows:… Sons — Owen, Gareth and David; their children are Owen/Fay; Gareth/Gwennan and Samuel and Raphael; David/Ellen Christie Thomas and Jens Rhys Thomas… ’

‘The proceeds fro...

Eade v Hogg & ors [2021] WTLR 507

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Summer 2021 #183

Mr Nodes (the deceased) passed away on 8 March 2019. The deceased’s estate included a large shareholding in a family company (the company). Each of the deceased’s wife and his former colleague (the claimant) also possessed small shareholdings in their own name. By his will, dated 22 October 2015, the deceased left his large shareholding in the company on trust for his wife for life, subject to an overriding power of appointment in favour either or both of his wife and his former colleague, allowing for an appointment of shares ‘up to such number… as shall when added to ...

Guthrie v Morel & ors [2015] EWHC 3172 (Ch)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | March 2016 #157

The claimant sought by way of summary judgment a declaration as to the true construction of a will or alternatively an order for rectification of the will pursuant to s20(1) of the Administration of Justice Act 1982.

The deceased died on 20 July 2011. His will took the form of a letter addressed to a solicitor. Both parties accepted that the document was a will and had been admitted to probate. One of the executors obtained a grant of probate on 23 August 2012.

The will contained a bequest in the following terms: ‘My property 87 Loma Del Rey, Alcades...

Brooke & ors v Purton & ors [2014] EWHC 547 (Ch)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | June 2014 #140

In 2009 Steven Huntley (the deceased) sought the advice of a solicitor in relation to wills and inheritance tax planning. At the date of his death, 11 March 2011, the deceased’s estate was valued at £6.9m, which was comprised of a 90% shareholding in an unquoted company (£5.4m), real estate, vintage cars and cash. The deceased’s estate was substantially similar in 2009.

The deceased had wanted to leave his estate equally between his partner, Louise, and his five children. He had expressed concerns to his solicitor about leaving substantial assets to his children outri...

Marley v Rawlings & anr [2014] UKSC 2

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | March 2014 #137

Mr Alfred Rawlings and his wife Maureen Rawlings instructed a solicitor to draft their wills in mirror form. Each spouse intended to leave his or her entire estate to the survivor of them, but provided that, should the other have predeceased or survived them for less than a month, their estates should be left to the appellant, who was not related to them but whom they treated as their son. Mr and Mrs Rawlings’ solicitor attended them on 17 May 1999 to enable a due execution of draft wills containing these provisions. By an oversight, their solicitor gave each spouse the other’s draft wil...