Forfeiture: Turning on the facts

Laura Abbott reports on a spate of recent cases in which the forfeiture rule has been waived Manslaughter will, in every case, deprive someone of their inheritance unless the court exercises its power to modify the effect of the rule. The long-standing forfeiture rule is a matter of public policy and provides that if a …
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Inheritance Act claims: Need, not comfort

Laura Abbott reviews the latest developments in adult claims under the Inheritance Act, as well as the controversial issue of the success fee in such claims Re H attracted further attention because it addressed the issue of whether a success fee liability due under a conditional fee agreement could form part of an award. An …
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Trustees: The necessaries

Emily Jenkins and Sam Harkness examine the trustee’s duty to account Chief Master Marsh found that in order for the court to make an order for an account (in common form) to be taken, a beneficiary has to show that an account has not been produced or that the account produced is inadequate. Among the …
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Musings from Manchester: The ‘threat’ from trusts – fake news?

Geoffrey Shindler crunches the numbers from HMRC which reveal the current state of trusts ‘Christmas is coming, and the goose is getting fat’. I have no idea whether in this unnatural year of 2020 that statement still holds true. However for all practical purposes it may be that Christmas is coming but not Christmas as …
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Charity: Where duty lies

Matthew Mills considers when members of charitable companies will be subject to fiduciary duties in light of the recent Supreme Court decision in Lehtimäki v Cooper Members of charitable companies may be concerned that Lehtimäki encourages the ‘losing side’ in a members’ vote to challenge the actions of the ‘winning side’. However, one recent authority …
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Deeds of variation: Mistakes and misconceptions

Deeds of variation are often misunderstood in practice. Charlotte Watts and Joshua Lewison discuss a case that highlights common misapprehensions and possible solutions The judgment confirms that the personal representatives’ power derives from the consent of the beneficiaries and not from any inherent ability to depart from the dispositions of the estate made by the …
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Trustee liability: Neither borrower nor a lender be

Trustees cannot always rely on indemnities. Charles Gothard, Robin Vos and Hannah Kalveks explore a breach of trust claim given the go-ahead despite an exoneration clause The trustee had applied to strike out the claimant’s case on the basis that there were insufficient particulars of dishonesty. The Court of Appeal has ruled that a breach …
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Wills: The mysterious case of the long-lost will

The appearance of a will after many years is problematic. Joseph de Lacey investigates the outcome of this scenario in Wrangle v Brunt, which also involved an allegation of forgery A will can be signed by another person at the direction of the testator. Where this happens, it is sensible to ensure that a full …
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