Womble Bond Dickinson (Trust Corporation) Ltd v No Named Defendant [2022] WTLR 765

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Summer 2022 #187

By a trust instrument dated 29 April 1986 (the 1986 deed), Stephenson Clarke Shipping Ltd, a subsidiary of Powell Duffryn plc and member of the Powell Duffryn group of companies (the PD Group), as the named settlor, settled cash and securities on a discretionary trust for the benefit of employees and former employees of the PD Group (the trust). The trust defined the beneficiaries as ‘the employees and their spouses and dependants and the former employees and their spouses from time to time during the trust period [being the period expiring eighty years from the date of the trust] of the...

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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The Royal Society v Robinson & ors [2015] EWHC 3442 (Ch)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | March 2017 #167

This was a claim to construe a will or, in the alternative to rectify it. Mr Michael Crowley-Milling (the deceased) died on 24 December 2012. His wife had pre-deceased him and he was survived by one niece, Mrs Lorna Joy Robinson and the children of his other niece (who had predeceased him) James Masterman and Rebecca Masterman (the next of kin). The deceased was a distinguished scientist and had decided to leave the bulk of his estate to the Royal Society.

The deceased left two wills: a Swiss will from February 2006 (the Swiss will) and an English will from October 2009 (the 2009 ...

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, Alcadesa, Spa...

Reading & anr v Reading & ors [2015] EWHC 946 (CH)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | September 2015 #152

John Reading died on 6 July 2005. He left a will dated 30 January 2004. He was survived by his wife, Janet; his two children, Stuart and Sally; and his three stepchildren, Neil, Ruth and Robin Sedgwick.

Under the will, Mrs Reading and Richard Flack were appointed trustees of a nil-rate band discretionary trust. The clauses of the will setting out the trusts of the nil-rate band trust included the testator’s ‘issue’ in the beneficial class. There was provision for such issue to be born at the testator’s death or thereafter during the trust period. Mrs Reading and Mr Flack brought a...

Wills: How big is my nil rate band?

The Woodland Trust v Loring [2014] demonstrates the importance of determining the testator’s exact intentions. Marilyn McKeever explains ‘As most practitioners do not possess a fully functioning crystal ball it would be prudent to discuss with a testator what their intentions are in general terms in order to understand the “purposes and values” intended to …
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The Woodland Trust v Loring & ors [2014] EWCA Civ 1314

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | January/February 2015 #146

The Woodland Trust brought this appeal on the basis that the Chancery Court judge at first instance had not determined the construction of a will correctly. The matter involved the estate of Valerie Smith who died in 2011 leaving a will executed on 2 February 2001 which left her residuary estate (totalling £680,805), to her family (the respondents) and the Woodland Trust. The relevant clauses for construction were clauses 5 and 6. Clause 5 stated as follows:

‘MY TRUSTEES shall set aside out of my residuary estate assets or cash of an aggregate value equa...

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 outright and his s...

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...