Baker & anr v Hewston [2023] WTLR 815

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Autumn 2023 #192

Stanley was married to Agnes and had three children: Ronald, Martin and Jennifer. He also had eight grandchildren including Jennifer’s daughter Emma and Ronald’s son Luke. Stanley separated from Agnes in the 1980s and moved in with his partner Kathleen, supported for many years by her daughter, the defendant. In 2010, Stanley and Kathleen each made wills leaving half shares in their new jointly owned home in Birmingham (the ‘Bungalow’) to Martin and the defendant. Kathleen died in April 2014 and Stanley handed the deeds to the Bungalow to the defendant in an envelope marked ‘Di, keep saf...

Hughes v Pritchard & ors [2022] WTLR 993

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Autumn 2022 #188

The testator owned substantial real estate, including two plots of farmland and a cottage. He had three children. His son Elfed began working on the farmland from a young age and in 1999 acquired neighbouring farmland which he farmed together with the testator’s land. In due course Elfed brought his own son to work with him on the farm.

The testator had made his testamentary intentions clear for some time, namely that his son Gareth and daughter Carys (the appellant and first respondent respectively) should inherit shares in a family company and Elfed should inherit the farmland k...

Re Clitheroe [2021] WTLR 449

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Summer 2021 #183

The claimant (C) and the defendant (D) were the surviving children of the deceased. Her other child, E, had died of cancer without children. Although the deceased had been close to D and D’s daughter, this changed after a disagreement between D and the deceased about E’s medication, when the deceased threatened that she would not forgive or speak to D again. The Deputy Master found that D was not responsible for the estrangement and that the deceased had irrationally maintained that it was D who cut her out rather than the other way around. E’s death had a profound effe...

White v Philips
 [2018] WTLR 1559

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Winter 2018 #170

The deceased, Raymond Ian White, died on 22 July 2010, a year after he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. On 28 May 2010 he gave instructions for a will to a legal executive at a local law firm; this will was executed on 4 June 2010.

The claimant, Linda White, was the deceased’s widow. The defendant was one of his three children from a previous marriage, and was appointed executrix by the June 2010 will. Mrs White claimed that at the time the deceased gave the instructions and executed the will he lacked testamentary capacity, partly due to the strong opioid drugs he was taking. ...

Burns v Burns [2016] EWCA Civ 37

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | June 2016 #160

On 21 May 2010 the deceased died, aged 89, leaving two sons: the appellant and the respondent. The respondent claimed pronouncement in solemn form of an alleged will of the deceased dated 26 July 2005, which divided the deceased’s estate equally between the appellant and the respondent. The appellant challenged the validity of the 2005 will on the basis that the deceased lacked testamentary capacity at the date of its purported execution and on the basis that the deceased did not know and approve of the contents of the same.

In September 2003 social services began to assist with t...

Wills: A will writer’s work of fiction

Edward Hicks explores the implications of Re Catling [2014] ‘The Ministry of Justice has recently rejected regulation of the will-writing sector. This case is an illustration of the potential disastrous consequences of allowing unregulated so-called “professionals” to act in this sector.’ In 2005 Mrs Catling was an elderly widow. She had eight children. She was …
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Catling & ors v Catling & anr [2014] EWHC 180 (Ch)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | July/August 2014 #141

This was the trial of a probate action relating to the estate of the late Mrs Joyce Beech Catling (Mrs Catling). She was married to Arthur Joseph Catling (Mr Catling) and they had eight children. The first defendant was the youngest child. The claimants, the seven older children, seek probate in solemn form of her will dated 23 August 2004 (the 2004 will) and codicil dated 2 November 2005 (the 2005 codicil) and say that the court should pronounce against a later will dated 11 May 2007 (the 2007 will), on the ground that Mrs Catling no longer had testamentary capacity and/or did not know ...

Markou & anr v Goodwin & ors [2013] EWHC 4570 (Ch)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | May 2014 #139

Mrs Eileen Rand died on 4 November 2007 aged 79 having executed two wills during her lifetime – one dated 20 June 2007 and the other 18 December 1969.

Mrs Rand had two siblings – Horace (known as Bill) and Derek. Bill married twice, the second time to Mrs Rand’s best friend since school Lillian (known as Pat).

In 1967 at the age of 38 Mrs Rand married for the first and only time to Edward Rand (known as Ted). Ted was already a widower and much older than Mrs Rand. Ted died after 18 months of marriage and left his entire estate including the martial home to Mrs Rand. Ted had...

Lifetime Gifts: The timing of execution

Singellos v Singellos marks an important extension of the Parker v Feldgate principle into lifetime gifts, explains Susi Dunn ‘The test for mental capacity to enter into a lifetime transaction is issue-specific: the degree of understanding required depends on the nature and complexity of the transaction in question.’In the summer of 2010, the High Court …
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