Lattimer v Karamanoli [2023] WTLR 1433

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Winter 2023 #193

Evi Kalodiki (the testatrix) passed away on 31 December 2018, having executed a purported will dated 27 December 2018 (the will) and married the claimant on 28 December 2018. The claimant maintained that the will was revoked by the testatrix’s marriage to him. The defendant was the testatrix’s sister and was named as a beneficiary in the will.

By an application to the Central Family Court, the defendant sought a declaration under s55 of the Family Law Act 1986 in respect of the status of the marriage, contending, among other things, that the marriage was invalid ...

Bracey v Curley & anr [2022] WTLR 419

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Summer 2022 #187

Mr Bracey passed away on 27 May 2018, leaving a will dated 31 July 2015. Under that will, Mr Bracey appointed the second defendant as his executrix and trustee. The grant of probate issued on 16 March 2020 to the second defendant. Mr Bracey had been predeceased by his wife, who, like Mr Bracey himself, had been unwell at the time at which Mr Bracey had executed his will. The case related to a dispute between Mr Bracey’s son (the claimant) and his daughter (the first defendant) concerning the proper construction of the will and whether it should be rectified.

The first issue was wh...

Will construction: What constitutes a clerical error?

Kevin Kennedy and Justine Reid analyse a case that outlines the steps taken for interpreting a will as well as the scope of the Administration of Justice Act 1982 The issue for the court was whether a solicitor copying and pasting a clause from a precedent bank that did not reflect the testator’s intention, and …
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Wills: Trial and error

Alexander Learmonth QC and James McKean report on a case on construction and rectification If the will does not accord with the deceased’s intentions, the wrong is irreversible. Correcting that wrong must be more important than classifying how it came about. There is a will, a company, and two beneficiaries. The will gives 26% of …
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Wills: Flexible interpretation

Fiona Campbell-White and Henrietta Watson discuss the current approach of the courts to the construction and rectification of wills ‘When interpreting a contract, the aim is to identify the intention of the party or parties to the document by interpreting the words used in their documentary, factual and commercial context without reference to any subjective …
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Slattery v Jagger & ors [2015] EWHC 3976 (Ch)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | March 2017 #167

The claimants (the executors of the estate of Mr Jagger) applied for construction or alternatively rectification of the last will of Mr Jagger dated 10 June 2011 (the 2011 will). It was common ground that the 2011 will was valid and revoked an earlier will dated 5 April 2007 (the 2007 will).

Mr Jagger made the 2011 will following the death of two of his sons from his first marriage. It was professionally drafted. Under the 2007 will his second wife received a life interest in the matrimonial home. The 2011 will represented a departure from this intention.

The 2011 will cont...

Re Harte [2015] EWHC 2351

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | December 2015 #155

By her will dated 10 November 2009 the deceased was expressed to give ‘all my personal property of whatsoever and wheresoever situated to my trustees on the following trusts:

3.1 To pay my just debts, funeral and testamentary expenses.

3.2 For Patrick absolutely.

3.3 Provided that if Patrick should not survive me, then my Trustees shall hold my residuary estate as follows:

4.1 as to one tenth to Douglas Victor Harris

4.2 as to one part to Michael Harris

4.3 as to one part to Pamela Ellen How

4.4 as to one part to Sybil Maisie Wickens


Marley v Rawlings & anr [2014] WTLR 299

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...

Rectification: Common sense or a slippery slope?

Alison Regan analyses the implications of the Supreme Court decision in Marley v Rawlings ‘Lord Neuberger stated that Mr Rawlings had signed a document which he believed to be his will in the presence of two witnesses and that he had to be the testator as he had signed the will.’ On 22 January 2014 …
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