James v James [2018] EWHC 43 (Ch)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Winter 2018 #170

The deceased was a self-made man who had operated a farming business and a haulage company in partnership with his wife (the third defendant) and his son (the claimant). Over the course of his life, he purchased a number of parcels of agricultural land in Dorset. In 2007 he gave two of these parcels to one of his daughters (the first defendant). In 2009 the partnership dissolved, and the deceased transferred one of the parcels to himself and the third defendant to hold jointly. At the same time the claimant was given one of the parcels and the haulage business.

The deceased died i...

Goss-Custard v Templeman [2018] EWHC 2476 (Ch)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Autumn 2018 #173

The late Lord Templeman (‘the deceased’) died on 4 June 2014 aged 94, leaving a will, dated 22 August 2008 (‘the 2008 Will’). The claimants commenced proceedings seeking an order pronouncing for the validity of the 2008 Will in solemn form. The 1st and 2nd defendants defended the claim on the basis that the deceased lacked testamentary capacity both when he gave his will instructions on 11 August 2008 and when the 2008 Will was executed. They counterclaimed for an order pronouncing for the validity of an earlier will, dated 25 April 2001 (‘the 2001 Will’) and a codicil to it, dated 3 Dec...

Sharp v Hutchins [2015] EWHC 1240 (Ch)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | September 2015 #152

Mr Butcher was born on 4 October 1939. He lived alone in a bungalow at 42 Russell Road, Enfield, London. He had no surviving parents and no children. He was close to his only sibling, Yvonne Butcher, with whom he lived. She died in 2002. Mr Butcher died on 5 May 2013 aged 73. He left a net estate worth £482,295.00. He was in good physical and mental health at the time of his death.

It was likely that in 1991 Mr Butcher had made a will which left his estate to Yvonne. In 2003, he made a new will following her death (‘the 2003 will’). He did so without the involvement of...

Wills: One step, two step…

Araba Taylor examines Re Butcher [2015], a case that puts the principles of Gill v Woodall into practice ‘The single test comes into its own where the court has enough facts, expert opinions and other evidence to enable it to make findings as to how the will was prepared and/or executed.’ Before the CA decision …
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Walker & anr v Badmin & ors claim no HC121304229

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | April 2015 #148

Elizabeth Jane Walker (Mrs Walker) was born on 25 March 1956. She married John Walker in 1981, and with him she had two daughters, Jennifer and Alison. In 2007, she left her husband and began to live with Michael Badmin (Mr Badmin).

On 20 June 2009, Mrs Walker was diagnosed with a terminal, malignant brain tumour. Following the prescription of medication, she began to suffer from symptoms of psychosis. However, her condition gradually improved, and she was discharged from hospital on 20 July 2009. Mrs Walker’s health begun to deteriorate in Autumn 2009. By October, she was ...

Testamentary Capacity: Satisfying Banks v Goodfellow

Simon v Byford demonstrates that the courts will not set aside lightly a will because the testator has failing cognitive faculties. Harriet Atkinson and Zahra Kanani analyse the case ‘The case highlights that for testamentary capacity to be present, the test in Banks v Goodfellow must be satisfied.’ There has been a sharp rise in …
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