Rea v Rea & ors [2023] WTLR 1509

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Winter 2023 #193

The dispute concerned which will of the deceased, Anna Rea, should be admitted to probate. Her first will dated 29 May 1986 gave all of her property to such of her four children as should survive her, if more than one in equal shares absolutely, subject to them surviving her by 28 days (the 1986 will).

A more recent will dated 7 December 2015 (the 2015 will) was witnessed by the solicitor who prepared it and the deceased’s GP. It provided for the deceased’s house to be left to the claimant, on account of the care she had given the deceased, with the residue to be divided between h...

Copley v Winter WTLR(w) 2023-08

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Reeves v Drew & ors WTLR(w) 2022-08

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Hughes v Pritchard & ors [2021] WTLR 893

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Autumn 2021 #184

The deceased (E) died in March 2017 aged 84. The deceased’s last will was executed in July 2016 with the assistance of solicitors and after a capacity assessment was obtained from his GP. At the time of making his will, the deceased was suffering from moderately severe dementia and was grieving from the death of his eldest son (S) who had taken his own life in September 2015. The will changed the provisions of an earlier will in favour of the claimant (C), also a son of E, inter alia, leaving 58 acres of farmland to C.

The defendants were the sister, widow and eldest son ...

Coles v Reynolds & anr WTLR(w) 2021-02

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Todd v Parsons & ors [2020] WTLR 305

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Spring 2020 #178

T died in 2009, aged 96 years, leaving two adult children, her son, who was the claimant (C), and her daughter, who was the third defendant (D3). By a will document dated 25 September 2008, T appointed the first defendant (D1) and the second defendant (D2) as her executors. D1 was the daughter of D3 and T’s only grandchild. D2 was the solicitor who drafted the will document. Both remained neutral in the proceedings.

In June 2017, C brought a claim for probate in solemn form of the will document and for an order removing D1 and D2 as executors and appointing an independent personal...

Probate: Promises, promises

The parable of the prodigal son has resonance in modern probate disputes. Alex Troup discusses ‘The judge’s finding that the deceased had deliberately broken the agreement to equalise the balance between her two children explained the difference between her old will and the disputed will.’ The parable of the prodigal son has all the makings …
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Edkins v Hopkins & ors [2016] EWHC 2542 (Ch)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | January/February 2017 #166

The claimant was a friend and business colleague of Philip Hopkins, and the executor and main beneficiary under Mr Hopkins’ will dated 6 June 2014. The will draftsman, a partner in a law firm, attended Mr Hopkins at his home with two members of the firm’s staff who witnessed his signature. During the execution of the will, she noticed that Mr Hopkins was unwell and later that day he was readmitted into hospital. He died ten days later on 19 August 2014, having been diagnosed with unspecified alcoholic liver damage.

The claimant brought a claim to prove the validity of the 2014 wil...

Wills: Crossing a line

Brendan Cotter considers how likely a claim against a testamentary predator is to succeed ‘The classic sign of undue influence is the main beneficiary being active in the preparation of a will in which they take a substantial benefit.’As Hilaire Belloc wrote in Dedicatory Ode 1910: ‘The question’s very much too wide, and much too …
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Undue Influence: Follow your nose

Amanda Noyce examines Hart v Burbidge [2014] and its lessons on the presumption of undue influence and lifetime gifts ‘Although the law of undue influence in relation to probate cases is a difficult hurdle to overcome, the law relating to lifetime gifts, where the donor may (or may not) now happen to be dead, may …
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