Jones & ors v Jones [2023] WTLR 1371

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Winter 2023 #193

The deceased died on 16 September 2021 leaving what purported to be a will dated 4 July 2021. It was signed by her and witnessed by a neighbour and a chartered accountant. It appointed the defendant, her daughter, as executrix and beneficiary of her entire estate.

The deceased’s other surviving children (the first claimant and the second claimant) and the children of a deceased child of the deceased (Vicky) (the third to sixth claimants) challenged the will on the grounds of lack of testamentary capacity, lack of knowledge and approval, and undue influence by the defendant over th...

Wilson & anr v Spence & anr WTLR(w) 2022-09

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Reeves v Drew & ors WTLR(w) 2022-08

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Morris v Fuirer & ors [2022] WTLR 659

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Summer 2022 #187

The claimant, who was the only child of Cynthia Morris (the testatrix), was the principal beneficiary under her will dated 25 October 2000 but not under later wills made on 28 November 2006 and 14 July 2010 (the wills). The testatrix died on 7 August 2017. Under the terms of her last will, the second and third defendants were appointed as executors; pecuniary legacies were bequeathed to the claimant (£35,000), the first defendant (£70,000) and the fourth defendant (£10,000); and her residuary estate was gifted to the sixth to ninth defendants who were charities. The claimant first intima...

Skillett v Skillett [2022] WTLR 679

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Summer 2022 #187

Charles Skillett (Mr Skillett) and his wife had four children. Mr Skillett owned a smallholding and, on 7 December 2010, received a market appraisal valuing the smallholding at £50,000. On 19 May 2011, Mr Skillett and his wife made mirror wills which provided, in summary, on the death of the first spouse, for the surviving spouse to take everything absolutely, and on the death of the surviving spouse, for the smallholding to be given to their eldest son, the other three children to receive £50,000 and the residuary estate to be split equally among all four children. Mrs Skillett passed a...

St Clair v King & anr [2022] WTLR 703

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Summer 2022 #187

The defendants were the executors of the deceased’s last will dated 20 May 2009 (the 2009 will). The claimant, who was the stepdaughter of the deceased, challenged the 2009 will. There were seven issues at trial:

  1. (i) whether 2007 wills made by the deceased and her husband (the claimant’s father) were mutual wills such that if the 2009 will was admitted to probate, the estate needed to be administered to give effect to a constructive trust reflecting the terms of the 2007 will;
  2. (ii) whether there was a contract between the claimant and the deceased before the 2009 wi...

Probate: An unusual occurrence

Toby Bishop describes when a reverse summary judgment in a probate claim may be necessary The Deputy Master concluded the allegations made against Ms Fuirer were so fanciful that they should never have been made. Because of the inquisitorial role of the court and the factual matrix surrounding the preparation and execution of wills, it …
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Hughes v Pritchard & ors [2021] WTLR 893

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Autumn 2021 #184

The deceased (E) died in March 2017 aged 84. The deceased’s last will was executed in July 2016 with the assistance of solicitors and after a capacity assessment was obtained from his GP. At the time of making his will, the deceased was suffering from moderately severe dementia and was grieving from the death of his eldest son (S) who had taken his own life in September 2015. The will changed the provisions of an earlier will in favour of the claimant (C), also a son of E, inter alia, leaving 58 acres of farmland to C.

The defendants were the sister, widow and eldest son ...

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

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Testamentary intentions: Presuming too much

A challenge to a will on the grounds of want of knowledge and approval where a compos mentis testator has read a professionally prepared will may seem doomed. Daisy Brown analyses a rare successful case A testator who has waited 24 years to change his will and then inexplicably gives two sets of contradictory instructions …
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