Morris v Fuirer & ors [2022] WTLR 659

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Summer 2022 #187

The claimant, who was the only child of Cynthia Morris (the testatrix), was the principal beneficiary under her will dated 25 October 2000 but not under later wills made on 28 November 2006 and 14 July 2010 (the wills). The testatrix died on 7 August 2017. Under the terms of her last will, the second and third defendants were appointed as executors; pecuniary legacies were bequeathed to the claimant (£35,000), the first defendant (£70,000) and the fourth defendant (£10,000); and her residuary estate was gifted to the sixth to ninth defendants who were charities. The claimant first intima...

Valid execution: A will, but no way

Wilson v Spence is a useful reminder of the evidential burden on a party propounding a will. Dilan Deeljur discusses Practitioners (on either side, whether propounder or examiner of a will) should not simply take a will at face value and assume valid execution. In Wilson v Spence [2022] the claimants sought to propound a …
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Barnaby v Johnson [2020] WTLR 67

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Spring 2020 #178

Mrs Maudlin Bascoe (T) died on 29 August 2015. Cs sought to prove a will dated 27 April 2005 (the 2005 will) naming them as executors. C1 was T’s son. C2 was T’s former solicitor and the draftsman of her wills from 1988 2005. D was T’s daughter. T also had two other children – a son, G, (who pre-deceased her) and a daughter, B (who died after T in 2017).

Under the 2005 will, D received a legacy of £100. There was an earlier will dated 25 October 1992 (the 1992 will) leaving D a legacy of £10,000 the validity of which D did not dispute at trial.

D challenged the 2005 will, a...

Wills: A risky business

Laura Abbott sets out what needs to be considered when challenging the validity of a will prepared by a professional ‘The court will require the strongest of evidence to find a will to be invalid and it is extremely difficult to succeed where the medical records and solicitors’ evidence are all supportive of validity.’ As …
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Gupta v Gupta [2018] EWHC 1353 (Ch)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Summer 2019 #175

The Claimant (‘Rakesh’) sought to pronounce against the only will made by his late mother, Urmila Rani Gupta (‘the Will’). The Defendants were his two siblings (‘Naresh’ and ‘Sashi’), their children and his own children. The only party actively defending the claim was Naresh – he also brought a Part 20 Claim to appoint an independent administrator of the estate. The Part 20 Claim was not opposed.

The Deceased and her husband Laxmi made mirror wills in November 1998. Laxmi died before the Deceased, so the effect of the Will was that it gave Sashi and each grandchild a small pecunia...

Wilson v Lassman [2017] EWHC 85 (Ch)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Winter 2018 #170

The claimant sought an order pronouncing against the will of his late father 
Gerald Wilson (the ‘deceased’) dated 9 October 2010, and revoking the grant of 
probate obtained by the defendant, as executor and sole beneficiary. The claimant contended that the will was not validly executed in compliance with s9 of the Wills Act 1837 (the ‘1837 Act’).

The will had been written, in manuscript by the deceased on a will form and was purportedly attested by two witnesses, Mr Byrne and Mr McKinley. It contained a proper attestation clause. It was not disputed th...

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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Poole & anr v Everall & anr [2016] EWHC 2126 (Ch)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | November 2016 #164

This was a challenge to the formal and substantial validity of the last will of David Poole (the testator) dated 26 December 2012 (the December will) on the grounds of want of due execution, want of knowledge and approval, lack of testamentary capacity and undue influence.

The testator (who died on 19 March 2013) had suffered severe physical and psychiatric injuries following a motorcycle accident in 1985. The December will had been prepared by Mr Everall, the first respondent, who had been the testator’s paid carer/’supporting landlord’ since 1994. The December ...

Elliott v Simmonds & anr [2016] EWHC 732 (Ch)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | October 2016 #163

Kenneth William Jordan (Mr Jordan) died on 4 August 2012 leaving a wife (from whom he was estranged) and two adult children. The claimant was Mr Jordan’s partner during the last years of his life and the first defendant was his daughter from a relationship that predated his marriage. He had previously made a will giving pecuniary legacies to the first defendant and two of his sisters with the residuary estate passing to the claimant. Subsequently, in January 2012, Mr Jordan gave instructions to Mr Mumford (who was his brother-in-law), a solicitor with the firm Melia Mumford, to make a ne...

Ahluwalia v Singh & ors All ER (D) 113

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | January/February 2012 #116

The claimant was the daughter of Mr Gurwak Singh (the deceased), who died on 23 March 2009. The first defendant was the deceased’s son and had obtained a grant of probate of what he claimed was the deceased’s last will, which was dated 3 May 1999.

The claimant brought an action seeking an order for revocation of the grant of probate, pronouncing against the purported will and for the appointment of an independent person to administer the estate. The action was brought on the basis that the purported will had not been properly executed pursuant to s9(c) of the Wills Act...