Hudson v Hathway [2022] WTLR 973

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Autumn 2022 #188

The parties had started a relationship in 1990. Mr Hudson had moved into Ms Hathway’s home and become joint owner. They did not marry and had two sons. The home was sold and another bought in joint names. In 2007 they purchased Picnic House with a mortgage. It was again purchased in joint names with no declaration of trusts. They separated in 2009, with Ms Hathway staying at Picnic House. The mortgage was converted to an interest-only mortgage. It continued to be paid from a joint account into which both of their salaries had been paid.

In July and August 2013 there was an exchang...

Sismey v Salandron [2022] WTLR 281

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Spring 2022 #186

H was married to W, and they had a son, T. They all lived in a property in Derbyshire (the property), which was owned by H. While T was a child and H was working abroad, H met M in the Philippines and formed a relationship with her. H and W separated, and W and T moved out of the property and into one owned by W. H retained the property as his home when in the UK. H and M had a child, J, and after that H, M and J moved to live together in the UK, in the property.

W petitioned for a divorce from H and a consent order in the financial remedy proceedings was approved by the judge and...

Constructive trusts and estoppel: Is my word my bond?

When can informal agreements give rise to a constructive trust or estoppel? Sarah Bolt looks back at the decision in Culliford It does appear that the courts are taking a more liberal approach to the cases that come before them, particularly within modern cases where there are more and more people cohabiting and making informal …
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Oberman v Collins & anr [2021] WTLR 267

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Spring 2021 #182

In consolidated proceedings, the claimant sought a declaration that she was beneficially entitled to 50% of 41 properties on the basis of a common intention constructive trust, a partnership or proprietary estoppel. The claimant also sought relief under ss994 and 996 of the Companies Act 2006 on the grounds of unfair prejudice.

The claimant and the first defendant were in a relationship between 1995 and 2015, moving in together in 1996, and having two children. The second defendant was incorporated on 16 September 1996: 51 shares were issued to the first defendant and two shares w...

Property: Changing intentions

Mark Pawlowski looks at how a beneficial joint tenancy can be severed after the parties purchase their family home in joint names Where the parties’ common intention manifests a clear desire to deviate from equality of shares, there is no reason, at least in principle, why severance should not operate so as to separate the …
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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...

Constructive trusts: Keeping up with the Jones

Naveed Ali outlines the development of the constructive trust principle to aid cohabitees ‘The court should establish the intentions of the parties with evidence; where intention cannot be inferred, the court may impute an intention which the parties may never have founded.’ The regulation of proprietary rights after a breakdown of marriage is extensive: the …
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Constructive trusts: Gone, but not forgotten

Joss Knight examines a claim for a common intention constructive trust where a cohabitee has passed away ‘The administrators found themselves defending proceedings on behalf of the estate and attempting to deny the existence of a conversation to which they were not, on anyone’s case, a party.’ Claims for a declaration that property is held …
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Legg v Burton [2017] WTLR 1017

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Autumn 2017 #169

The testatrix had two daughters, the first and second claimants. In July 2000, the testatrix and her husband made wills in favour of the survivor, and subject to that, in favour of the claimants in equal shares.

The husband died in May 2001. Between 2001 and 2004, the testatrix made 13 further wills. These progressively favoured the defendants (who were two of the grandsons of the testatrix and the partner of one of them), at the expense of the claimants. The last of these wills was made on 12 December 2014, when she made a further will under which the claimants took a legacy of £...

Cohabitants: Home truths

Mark Pawlowski summarises how a non-owning cohabitant can obtain capital provision under the Children Act 1989 ‘The practical effect of a settlement/transfer order made under Sch 1 is that, during the period of the children’s education, the house is held on trust for the non-owning party to the exclusion of the other party for the …
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