Dewar v Sheffield City Council and HM Attorney General Unreported

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Summer 2019 #175

Graves Park in Sheffield was held by the defendant council on a charitable trust governed by scheme made in 2009. Clause 4(2) of the scheme provided that the land subject to the scheme ‘must be retained by the trustee for use for the object of the charity’. Clause 10 of the scheme provided that “The Commission may decide any question put to it concerning: (1) The interpretation of this scheme; (2) The propriety or validity of anything done or intended to be done under it.”

Section 6, Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 provides that:

(1) For the pur...

Macintyre & anor v Oliver & ors [2018] EWHC 3094 (Ch

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Spring 2019 #174

The claimants were the trustees of the trusts arising under the wills of Violet Hamblen-Thomas (Violet) and Charles Hamben-Thomas (Charles). They had issued a Part 8 claim form seeking the guidance of the court as to the true construction of the will trusts and as to the identification of the beneficiaries, represented by the defendants. Apart from her only son, Edwin Hamblen-Thomas (Edwin), Violet had a life-long friend, Enid Simpson, whose daughter was the first and second defendant (Victoria). Violet, by her will dated 16 December 1968 (Violet’s will), gave Charles a life interest in ...

Wills: A question of construction

Justin Holmes suggests a modern take on decided cases is needed to reflect the intentions of the 21st century testator ‘The 21st century problem which arose for the trustees was that, on the face of the will, the gifts to Enid and Victoria in clause 5 might both have failed, and in that event there …
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Trusts: After Marley

Mike Muston reviews a case which indicates that the courts will take a ‘common sense’ approach to construction and rectification ‘The case of Millar provides further confirmation, following on from the Supreme Court decision in Marley, that courts will approach cases of construction and rectification on a practical and common-sense basis.’ The case of Millar …
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Wills: Can an unsent text message be a valid will?

Sheila Rusike and Jo Summers examine worldwide precedents for accepting unconventional wills ‘The fact that the text message was unsent only demonstrated that the deceased wanted it to be found after his death and not before, further supporting the argument that he wanted it to express his final wishes.’ The Law Commission’s recent consultation paper, …
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Construction: When a conflict of interest leads to court

Sally Goodger discusses a case which debated the circumstances in which a letter of wishes should form part of the will ‘All executors are potentially within the scope of s50 and if circumstances arise which impede the fulfilment of testamentary wishes, the court can exercise its statutory jurisdiction.’ Judge Russen QC handed down his judgment …
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Bathurst v Chantler [2018] EWHC 21 (Ch) 

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Winter 2018 #170

The claimant was the second wife and widow of the Earl Bathurst (Eighth Earl). The first to third defendants were the trustees of the Earl’s Fund (EFT) created under a statutory Codicil made on behalf of the Eighth Earl by the Court of Protection. The fourth to seventh defendants were the trustees of the Earl Bathurst 1963 estate settlement (settlement). When the Earl succeeded to his title in 1943, his inheritance included a large estate comprising 15,000 acres and a mansion house known as Cirencester Park. There were also chattels that included valuable works of art and collections of ...

Tish v Olley [2018] EWHC 1069 (Ch)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Spring 2018 #171

The claimants, the former wife of the deceased and their children by that 
marriage, brought claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) 
Act 1975. 

Following the breakdown of the marriage between the first claimant and the 
deceased, in 2007 a consent order was made by the Principal Registry of the Family 
Division disposing of the first claimant’s ancillary relief application. That order 
provided, inter alia, that the deceased would pay £11,000 a year in respect of the 
children of the marriage until they attained the age of 18 years or...

Ademption: Common sense prevails

Christopher McNall sets out the lessons from a rare case of ademption ‘Ademption is a process whereby specific testamentary gifts fail because the subject matter of the gift has ceased to be part of the testatrix‘s property at the time of their death.‘ The decision of Norris J, sitting in Manchester as the Vice-Chancellor of …
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Hives v Machin [2017] EWHC 1414 (Ch)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Autumn 2017 #169

This claim concerned the proper construction of the will of Mrs Bastubbe (‘the Testatrix’). The Testatrix had three sons, Christopher, Eric (the Claimant’s father) and Peter (the Defendant). The Testatrix made her last will in 2003 at a time when all three of her sons were living. The Defendant had one son and one daughter, and the Claimant was Eric’s only daughter. The deceased would have been aware in 2003 that Eric had a chest complaint that caused him breathing difficulties and that Christopher was suffering from illness relating to drug addiction. Christopher...