Copley v Winter WTLR(w) 2023-08

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Web Only

Boast v Ballardi & ors [2022] WTLR 1203

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Winter 2022 #189

The claimant issued probate proceedings seeking orders pronouncing against the validity of a will dated 11 June 2013 and in favour of an earlier will dated 15 March 2006. The claimant was the sole executor under both wills, and the sole beneficiary of the earlier will. The later will gave rise to a partial intestacy of residue, under which the defendants were the beneficiaries.

The claimant issued probate proceedings challenging the 2013 will for lack of testamentary capacity. Four defendants had consented pre-action and one had acknowledged service, not contesting the claim. No o...

Clitheroe v Bond [2022] WTLR 1217

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Winter 2022 #189

Jean Mary Clitheroe (the deceased) had three children, one of whom (her elder daughter) predeceased without issue. The appellant and respondent were her surviving children, the latter of whom was a victim of sexual abuse committed by her father. This had been detailed in letters written by her father and which were used in divorce proceedings by the deceased. The deceased had been profoundly affected by her elder daughter’s terminal diagnosis and death and became estranged from the respondent to the point that she started to maintain, and continued to maintain until her own death, that t...

Wilson & anr v Spence & anr WTLR(w) 2022-09

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Web Only

Hughes v Pritchard & ors [2022] WTLR 993

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Autumn 2022 #188

The testator owned substantial real estate, including two plots of farmland and a cottage. He had three children. His son Elfed began working on the farmland from a young age and in 1999 acquired neighbouring farmland which he farmed together with the testator’s land. In due course Elfed brought his own son to work with him on the farm.

The testator had made his testamentary intentions clear for some time, namely that his son Gareth and daughter Carys (the appellant and first respondent respectively) should inherit shares in a family company and Elfed should inherit the farmland k...

Testamentary capacity: Stick to the rules

Pauline Lyons discusses a case that outlines the importance of following procedure when will drafting When scrutinised and tested by the court in the course of Gavin Boast’s validity claim, the evidence showed that the will could not be upheld within the realms of the Banks v Goodfellow test and was accordingly set aside. The …
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Skillett v Skillett [2022] WTLR 679

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Summer 2022 #187

Charles Skillett (Mr Skillett) and his wife had four children. Mr Skillett owned a smallholding and, on 7 December 2010, received a market appraisal valuing the smallholding at £50,000. On 19 May 2011, Mr Skillett and his wife made mirror wills which provided, in summary, on the death of the first spouse, for the surviving spouse to take everything absolutely, and on the death of the surviving spouse, for the smallholding to be given to their eldest son, the other three children to receive £50,000 and the residuary estate to be split equally among all four children. Mrs Skillett passed a...

Probate: An unusual occurrence

Toby Bishop describes when a reverse summary judgment in a probate claim may be necessary The Deputy Master concluded the allegations made against Ms Fuirer were so fanciful that they should never have been made. Because of the inquisitorial role of the court and the factual matrix surrounding the preparation and execution of wills, it …
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Lonsdale v Teasdale & ors [2021] WTLR 1309

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Winter 2021 #185

The claimant was the daughter of the deceased. The deceased had made a will dated 15 September 2017 of which the residuary beneficiary was D1, a friend of the deceased. A letter of intent stated that the claimant was not to benefit. The claimant, relying on medical evidence which included a poor score in a cognitive impairment screening test and a letter from the deceased’s GP opining that the deceased had likely suffered from dementia for a number of years before executing the 2017 will, challenged the 2017 will on the basis of a lack of testamentary capacity due to memory issues, and D...

Hughes v Pritchard & ors [2021] WTLR 893

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Autumn 2021 #184

The deceased (E) died in March 2017 aged 84. The deceased’s last will was executed in July 2016 with the assistance of solicitors and after a capacity assessment was obtained from his GP. At the time of making his will, the deceased was suffering from moderately severe dementia and was grieving from the death of his eldest son (S) who had taken his own life in September 2015. The will changed the provisions of an earlier will in favour of the claimant (C), also a son of E, inter alia, leaving 58 acres of farmland to C.

The defendants were the sister, widow and eldest son ...