Guest & anr v Guest [2023] WTLR 431

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Summer 2023 #191

A father made repeated promises to his son that he would inherit an undefined part of a farm, sufficient to enable him to operate a viable farming business on it, after the death of his parents. Relying on that promise, the son spent the best part of his working life on the farm, working at very low wages and accommodated in a farm cottage. After a deterioration in the relationship between the father and son, it proved no longer possible for the two to work together, and the son therefore moved out, and the father cut him out of his will.

The son claimed an interest in the farm as...

Proprietary estoppel: What to expect

David Wilkinson considers the implications of the Supreme Court decision in Guest The court’s task is to do justice ‘in the round’, including to any third parties, and with reference to whether the proposed remedy (if conferred by the promisee) would be unconscionable or not. More than ten months in the making and running to …
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Sangha v Sangha & ors WTLR(w) 2021-12

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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

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

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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

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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...