Challen v Challen & anor [2020] WTLR 859

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Autumn 2020 #180

C and Richard Challen (the deceased) were in a relationship for 40 years and had two children (the defendants). Throughout that period the deceased subjected C to sustained coercive control, leaving her in an abnormal psychiatric state. On 15 August 2010 C killed the deceased with a hammer and was convicted of his murder in 2011. In February 2019 that conviction was quashed and the matter remitted for a retrial, and in June 2019 C was convicted upon a guilty plea of manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility. Under the common law ‘forfeiture rule’ C was precluded from benefiting...

Forfeiture: What relief?

A recent case provides helpful guidance on the financial consequences of assisting suicide. Alexa Payet explains ‘The steps which Alex took prior to his death, in an attempt to support Sarah in this process after he was gone, were crucial to the success of the application and assisted the court in reaching a decision at …
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Henderson v Wilcox [2015] EWHC 3469 (Ch)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | April 2016 #158

The claimant had been convicted of the manslaughter of his mother (the deceased). He had a low IQ though there was no clear medical view that he suffered from a mental disorder. However, he had not argued that he was unfit to plead and he had not raised a defence of diminished responsibility. He was sentenced to be detained in hospital under s37 of the Mental Health Act 1983. He was detained in a medium security establishment, and it was considered unlikely that he will ever be fit for discharge.

The deceased’s house did not form part of her estate. It had ...

Forfeiture: Crime doesn’t pay

Henderson v Wilcox [2015] sheds light on uncertain aspects of the forfeiture rule. Sarah Playforth analyses the case ‘If a forfeiture issue arises, it is important to look in detail at the nature of the assets and the interests, particularly when and why they were created and whether or not they are affected by the …
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Succession: Consider what is just

Mark Pawlowski explains the court’s power to relieve an unlawful killer from forfeiture of their victim’s estate ‘The Forfeiture Act 1982 empowers the court to grant relief to a person who has unlawfully killed another and who is precluded, under the forfeiture rule, from acquiring a benefit in consequence of the killing.’ The common law …
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Adverse Possession: The illegality conundrum

Edward Gamble reports on a decision that clarifies whether a squatter in illegal occupation of a residential building can still establish a claim for adverse possession ‘The illegality principle may have to give way to competing public policy interests from time to time.’ Section 144(1) of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act …
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Cawley & anr v Lillis [2011] IEHC 515

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | May 2013 #129

Celine Cawley, the deceased (D) and the defendant, her husband (H), owned real and personal property as joint tenants. D’s will left all her property to H and if he were to predecease her, to trustees for her children. She had one daughter. H was convicted of D’s manslaughter. Following his conviction, H expressly renounced his right to probate of D’s will. On 24 March 2010 letters of administration were granted to the plaintiffs (P), the personal representatives named in D’s will should H predecease her. By s120 of the Succession Act 1965 (the

Probate: Body matters

Jane Evans-Gordon discusses the quandaries that can arise on the disposal of a dead body ‘Bodies cannot be bought or sold, stolen, criminally damaged or, as was once tried, seized by creditors.’ Thomas Mann said that ‘It is a fact that a man’s dying is more the survivors’ affair than his own’.Regrettably, while the Lord …
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