Eade v Hogg & ors [2021] WTLR 507

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Summer 2021 #183

Mr Nodes (the deceased) passed away on 8 March 2019. The deceased’s estate included a large shareholding in a family company (the company). Each of the deceased’s wife and his former colleague (the claimant) also possessed small shareholdings in their own name. By his will, dated 22 October 2015, the deceased left his large shareholding in the company on trust for his wife for life, subject to an overriding power of appointment in favour either or both of his wife and his former colleague, allowing for an appointment of shares ‘up to such number… as shall when added to ...

Wills: Trial and error

Alexander Learmonth QC and James McKean report on a case on construction and rectification If the will does not accord with the deceased’s intentions, the wrong is irreversible. Correcting that wrong must be more important than classifying how it came about. There is a will, a company, and two beneficiaries. The will gives 26% of …
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Barrett v Hammond & ors [2021] WTLR 51

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Spring 2021 #182

Dr Robert Munroe Black (the ‘testator’) and his wife, Beatrice Maud Black, were a childless couple who made mirror wills dated 29 September 1998. These were professionally prepared by Lucas & Co, which was subsequently taken over by Simpson Millar. Subject to the payment of several pecuniary legacies, on the death of the survivor the wills directed the division of the residuary estate into 52 parts for the benefit of six named individuals as to six parts each and a number of charities as to two parts each.

The testator and his wife amended their wills by codicils dated 2 Augus...

Wills: Flexible interpretation

Fiona Campbell-White and Henrietta Watson discuss the current approach of the courts to the construction and rectification of wills ‘When interpreting a contract, the aim is to identify the intention of the party or parties to the document by interpreting the words used in their documentary, factual and commercial context without reference to any subjective …
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Wills: For the record

Clarke v Brothwood [2007] indicates the circumstances in which ‘clerical error’ allows rectification. Siân Hodgson reports ‘Rectification may be possible under s20, but the court will need to see evidence as to the nature of the error, how it arose and what the testator’s true intentions were.’ Until 1983 there was no power to rectify …
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Brooke & ors v Purton & ors [2014] EWHC 547 (Ch)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | June 2014 #140

In 2009 Steven Huntley (the deceased) sought the advice of a solicitor in relation to wills and inheritance tax planning. At the date of his death, 11 March 2011, the deceased’s estate was valued at £6.9m, which was comprised of a 90% shareholding in an unquoted company (£5.4m), real estate, vintage cars and cash. The deceased’s estate was substantially similar in 2009.

The deceased had wanted to leave his estate equally between his partner, Louise, and his five children. He had expressed concerns to his solicitor about leaving substantial assets to his children outri...

Rainbird & anr v Smith & ors [2012] EWHC 4276 (Ch)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | November 2013 #134

Doreen Gertrude Leader (the deceased) executed a will leaving the residue of her estate to her three daughters on the following terms:

‘I give my estate (including any property over which I may have general power of appointment or disposition by will) to my trustees upon trust…

(c) subject thereto hold the residue remaining and the income thereof (“my residuary estate”) UPON TRUST for such of them my daughters, the said JACQUELINE ANNE RAINBIRD JANET JONES of… and GWENDOLINE SMITH of… as shall survive me and if more than one in eq...

Joshi & ors v Mahida [2013] EWHC 486 (Ch)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | June 2013 #130

Kiritkumar Mahendersinh Mahida (testator) and his wife, the defendant, owned (inter alia) freehold property at 148-152 Leytonstone Road London as beneficial joint tenants. They were, however, separated when the testator made his last will (will) on 17 July 2002. After appointing the first and second claimants his executors and trustees, the testator gave certain property to his brother, the third claimant, and his three sons, the fourth to sixth claimants. In particular, by clause 3(c) he gave them an interest in the property at Leytonstone Road, but unfortunately expressed the ...

Kell v Jones & ors

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | April 2013 #128

Mrs Joan Pittaway (the testatrix) made a will dated 15 December 2010 and died on 21 January 2011. Her will appointed Mr Kell as one of two executors.

Clause 4 of her will left pecuniary legacies to 15 named relatives and four charities (with £7500 in total left to charity). Clause 6 of the will left her residue to be paid ‘equally among such of the beneficiaries named in clause 4 as shall survive me and if more than one in equal shares’.

It was alleged that the testatrix wished her residue to be split only between family members and not the charities. The size...

Austin v Woodward & anr [2011] EWHC 2458 (Ch)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | May 2012 #119

The claim (issued on 3 November 2010) was made by the claimant for rectification of her mother’s will dated 6 October 2003 under s20 of the Administration of Justice Act 1982 and for permission to extend time for the issue of the claim form as probate of the will had been granted in June 2009. On the wording of the unrectified will a property, which was the claimant’s home, passed into residue in which the claimant had a life interest with remainder to the third and fourth defendants (the testator’s grandchildren). The testator’s previous will had provided that th...