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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Forfeiture: Shades of grey

Mike Muston outlines the extent of judicial discretion when considering relief from the forfeiture rule ‘The forfeiture rule will apply regardless of the moral culpability of the offender. However, the application of the rule is merely the default position and clearly there will be cases at different ends of the spectrum.’ The recent case of …
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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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Chadwick v Collinson & ors [2014] EWHC 3055 (Ch)

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

Lisa Jane Clay (the deceased) and the claimant lived together from about 2003. They had a child together named Joseph, who was six years old in April 2013. From January 2013, they lived at the property at 36 Lowlands Road, Lancashire (the property) which the claimant and the deceased held as joint tenants. The deceased made a will on 18 August 2008 under which the claimant was the sole residuary beneficiary. The net value of the estate was £79,098.87 of which £60,000 comprised the deceased’s interest in the property. The couple’s relationship was at all times entirely stable,...

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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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