Wills: A binding contract

Mark Pawlowski examines the problems associated with mutual wills and suggests some ways of avoiding them ‘Where the subject matter of the mutual wills specifically includes land and a separate will is used for each party, the parties‘ agreement may be potentially void as failing to meet the requirements of s2(1) of the 1989 Act.‘ …
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Legg v Burton [2017] EWHC 2088 (Ch)

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 £...

Mutual Wills: Can a mirror will be changed?

John Dickinson assesses whether a proprietary estoppel solution can replace the need for a binding contract ‘Under the doctrine of mutual wills, there is a need for a legally binding contract as opposed to a mere moral obligation not to depart from the terms of the original will.’ HHJ Matthews, sitting as a judge of …
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Private Client: Careful planning

Mark Pawlowski highlights some of the pitfalls associated with mutual wills that may have consequences on relationship breakdown ‘If the parties’ property (for example, the family home) is held on a joint tenancy, does the execution of mutual wills automatically sever the joint tenancy, or is it necessary for such a joint tenancy to be …
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