Mundil-Williams v Mundil-Williams & ors WTLR(w) 2021-11

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Web Only

Wills: Crossing a line

Brendan Cotter considers how likely a claim against a testamentary predator is to succeed ‘The classic sign of undue influence is the main beneficiary being active in the preparation of a will in which they take a substantial benefit.’As Hilaire Belloc wrote in Dedicatory Ode 1910: ‘The question’s very much too wide, and much too …
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Poole & anr v Everall & anr [2016] EWHC 2126 (Ch)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | November 2016 #164

This was a challenge to the formal and substantial validity of the last will of David Poole (the testator) dated 26 December 2012 (the December will) on the grounds of want of due execution, want of knowledge and approval, lack of testamentary capacity and undue influence.

The testator (who died on 19 March 2013) had suffered severe physical and psychiatric injuries following a motorcycle accident in 1985. The December will had been prepared by Mr Everall, the first respondent, who had been the testator’s paid carer/’supporting landlord’ since 1994. The December ...

Sharp v Hutchins [2015] EWHC 1240 (Ch)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | September 2015 #152

Mr Butcher was born on 4 October 1939. He lived alone in a bungalow at 42 Russell Road, Enfield, London. He had no surviving parents and no children. He was close to his only sibling, Yvonne Butcher, with whom he lived. She died in 2002. Mr Butcher died on 5 May 2013 aged 73. He left a net estate worth £482,295.00. He was in good physical and mental health at the time of his death.

It was likely that in 1991 Mr Butcher had made a will which left his estate to Yvonne. In 2003, he made a new will following her death (‘the 2003 will’). He did so without the involvement of...

Wills: One step, two step…

Araba Taylor examines Re Butcher [2015], a case that puts the principles of Gill v Woodall into practice ‘The single test comes into its own where the court has enough facts, expert opinions and other evidence to enable it to make findings as to how the will was prepared and/or executed.’ Before the CA decision …
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Re Devillebichot; Brennan v Prior & ors [2013] EWHC 2867 (Ch)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | December 2013 #135

Francois Devillebichot (Francois) died on 3 March 2011. He made a will dated 19 February 2011. The proponents of the will were four of the defendants, while the claimant Mrs Chloe Brennan was Francois’ only child and sole heir under the intestacy rules. The will left £100,000 to Chloe, a studio flat in France to his sister Jacqueline and the residuary estate to his four siblings. After inheritance tax the net estate was £450,000.

Chloe alleged that her father was happy to die intestate in the knowledge that she would inherit his entire estate. Prior to the contested will he ...

Re Stolkin; Greaves v Stolkin [2013] EWHC 1140 (Ch)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | December 2013 #135

The deceased testator, Leslie Stolkin, (T) had two sons from his marriage, the defendant Gary (G) and Mark (M). T divorced their mother in 1989. In September 1997 Pauline Greaves the claimant, (P), also divorced, moved in with T as cohabitant and became financially dependent on him. In 2001, T executed a will effectively leaving his entire estate to G, and also naming him as sole executor and trustee unless he died before T in which case M, a successful and wealthy businessman, would inherit . The will made no provision for P, but T left some notes directing that she was to receive regul...

Jeffrey v Jeffrey [2013] EWHC 1942 (Ch)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | November 2013 #134

This was a retrial. The original trial in November 2012 was conducted in the absence of the defendant Andrew Jeffrey.

Daphne Jeffrey died in February 2010, aged 76, having divorced her husband David ten days before her death. She had two children – Nicholas and Andrew. She made a will in 2007 appointing Nicholas and Christopher Eyre (a friend left nothing in the will) as her executors and leaving her estate between Nicholas and Andrew’s three children. Prior to that she had made wills in 1982, 2002 and 2004. In 2008 she gifted two properties to Nicholas.


Re Wilson (dec’d) [2013] EWHC 499 (Ch)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | June 2013 #130

The testatrix Iris Wilson (Iris) made a will dated 31 August 2010 and died on 6 October 2010. Her will appointed the first defendant Mr Phythian as the sole executor and left her personal effects and the residue of her estate to the second defendant Mrs Phythian and the property known as North Lodge in Yalding Kent in equal shares to Mr and Mrs Phythian.

Mrs Lynda Turner (the claimant) the niece of Iris challenged the will on three grounds:

  • Lack of proper execution.
  • Lack of mental capacity.
  • Lack of knowledge and approval of the contents of the will.<...

Execution By Beneficiary: Confusing signs

Emily Exton and Katherine Harper provide an update on the Court of Appeal decision in Barrett v Bem ‘Where a testator is not capable of personally signing their will and decides to direct some other person to sign it, it is crucial that the testator should make some positive and discernible communication that they wish …
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