Sangha v Sangha & ors WTLR(w) 2021-12

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Web Only

Proprietary estoppel: Widening the net

Mark Pawlowski and James Brown examine whether a proprietary estoppel claim can extend to property other than land Assuming that the doctrine of proprietary estoppel is of general application to property other than, strictly speaking, interests in land, there is no reason why a spouse or cohabitee should not be able to mount a successful …
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Wills & anr v Sowray WTLR(w) 2021-07

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Web Only

Guest & anr v Guest WTLR(w) 2021-05

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Web Only

The respondent (who had been the claimant at first instance) was the eldest son of the two appellants. He had worked on the family farm full-time for some 33 years, until his relationship with his parents deteriorated. The respondent then brought proceedings against the appellants seeking a declaration of his entitlement to a beneficial interest in the farm on the basis of an alleged proprietary estoppel. At first instance, the court found in his favour, concluding that the first appellant had consistently and over time led the respondent to believe that he would inherit a sufficient sta...

Culliford & anr v Thorpe [2020] WTLR 1205

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Winter 2020 #181

The deceased purchased a property in Weston-super-Mare (the Weston property) in his sole name in 2002 with the aid of a mortgage loan. He met the defendant in early 2010 and by the end of the year the defendant had moved into the Weston property with the deceased and it became his main residence. The defendant undertook repair and decoration jobs around the property, including repairing the boiler and decorating the main bedroom, and undertook work for others in return for work on the property by them. The general outgoings for the property and for the lifestyle of the deceased and the d...

Anaghara v Anaghara & ors WTLR(w) 2021-01

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Web Only

The long-term partner and customary wife of the deceased claimed that a proprietary estoppel arose in her favour as to the matrimonial home. At first instance, the County Court awarded her a life interest in the property in satisfaction of her equity. On appeal, the High Court upheld the award of the life interest finding that she had detrimentally relied on assurances given by her customary husband, by not purchasing a house of her own. She was not required to demonstrate in great detail how she would have acquired such a house – by virtue of the representations of the deceased she had ...

Proprietary estoppel: An unusual plot

Katie Alsop discusses a proprietary estoppel claim that succeeded despite little documentary evidence and the claimants not being family members With the benefit of hindsight, this case would have been eminently suitable for mediation. It does act as a stark reminder of the obligation on practitioners to discuss with clients the expectations of the court …
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Horsford v Horsford [2020] WTLR 519

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Summer 2020 #179

The claimant and her husband owned and farmed College Farm in Cambridgeshire. They had three children – two daughters and one son. The defendant, who was their son, owned and farmed the adjoining Whitleather Lodge Farm and had joined his parents’ farming partnership on an equal basis.

After separating from her husband in 2011, the claimant moved into a property which had previously produced a rental income and she was concerned to secure her financial independence. This led to the claimant, her ex-husband and the defendant setting in motion the steps required for a partnership agr...

Law of Property (Misc. Provisions) Act 1989: Proprietary estoppel wins again

Sukhninder Panesar considers the case law relating to proprietary estoppel when seeking to acquire an interest in land without complying with the formalities of the 1989 Act Etherton J held that the proprietary estoppel was sufficient grounds for the enforcement of the terms of the oral contract. The question whether proprietary estoppel can be pleaded …
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Trusts: Hush money

Mark Pawlowski considers the interrelationship between proprietary estoppel and secret trusts To what extent is it open to a testator to change their will or revoke the instructions they have given to their secret trustee so as to frustrate the expectations of the secret beneficiary? The answer to this question depends on whether the secret …
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