Goodwin v Avison & ors WTLR(w) 2022-04

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Web Only

Costs: The end of Cherry v Boultbee

Hal Branch reports on a case that establishes that there is no right of set-off for unpaid debts against 1975 Act awards and also takes the stance ‘no costs certificate, no payment’ The Deputy Master found that Cherry would only apply in respect of s2 of the 1975 Act where a claimant in a 1975 …
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Brealey v Shepherd & Co [2022] WTLR 17

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Spring 2022 #186

The claimant applied for detailed assessment of the defendant’s costs incurred in the administration of a deceased’s estate under s71(3) of the Solicitors Act 1974.

Ann Brealey died on 15 April 2014. Her will left the claimant as the main beneficiary. It named her brother, Peter Hayward, and Robin Peter Shepherd, a solicitor, as the executors and trustees of her will. The executors instructed the defendant firm to administer the deceased’s estate. Mr Shepherd was one of the two partners in that firm. The defendant’s bills for the administration of the estate had ...

Costs: Action not to be taken lightly

Laura Abbott sets out the key principles concerning costs and contentious probate proceedings Any claim should be approached on the basis that costs follow the event. Parties must therefore be willing, and able, to pay their own costs and those of their opponent if they are unsuccessful. Goodwin v Avison [2021] is a useful précis …
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Rochford v Rochford [2021] WTLR 951

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Autumn 2021 #184

The claimant was the daughter of the deceased and the defendant was the sister of the deceased. The deceased had made a will dated 13 September 2017. By that will the deceased had left £25,000 each to the claimant, the claimant’s son and another sister of the deceased. The remainder was left to the defendant.

The net estate was valued at around £245,000. The defendant stood to receive approximately £193,000 less legal fees.

In 1968 the deceased had separated from the claimant’s mother. Thereafter the claimant had a difficult relationship with the deceased. Prior to the birt...

Smith & anr v Michelmores Trust Corporation Ltd & ors (costs) [2021] WTLR 1083

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Autumn 2021 #184

A testatrix (T) left the residue of her estate (the trust fund) on trust to be divided into four equal shares, directing that one of them (the share fund) be held upon discretionary trusts for the benefit of her son, B, and his children and remoter issue. The other three shares were given to her other three children absolutely. The will trustees (who were the executrix of T’s will and another person appointed by her as a co-trustee) sought the approval of the court for a proposed appointment of all of the liquid funds in the share fund to B absolutely. The judge refused to approve the pr...

Wooldridge v Wooldridge & ors (costs) [2021] WTLR 777

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Summer 2021 #183

The claimant was the 50-year-old widow of the deceased. She brought a claim for reasonable financial provision to be made for her from the estate of her late husband, Ian Wooldridge.

The first, second and third defendants were the executors of the estate and adopted a neutral stance. The fourth and fifth defendants opposed the claim.

The claim was dismissed, and the costs of the claim fell to be determined.

The claimant accepted that she had to pay the costs of the first, second and third defendants assessed on the indemnity basis. She also accepted that she had to p...

Y & anr v C & ors [2021] WTLR 391

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Spring 2021 #182

A claim was made under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (1975 Act) by the mothers of the deceased’s children. The deceased had owned 50% of a private company. That shareholding was valued for probate at £5m. The executors of the deceased’s estate were his sister, who owned the other 50% of the shares and was a director of the company, and a solicitor from the firm which had drafted the deceased’s will, and who was also a director of the private company. The claim under the 1975 Act was upheld against the estate (reported as B v...

Cotterell & anr v Allendale & anr [2020] WTLR 1183

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Winter 2020 #181

The claimants as trustees of the Allendale 1949 Settlement applied to extend their administrative powers under s57 of the Trustee Act 1925 and the inherent jurisdiction of the court to include a power to re-appropriate assets between the various sub-funds comprised in the settlement, on the ground that they lacked the power under the settlement and it would be expedient for them to have such power in order to effect a certain tax mitigation strategy.

The claimants further applied for other administrative powers which they lacked to be conferred on them, even thou...

Shapton v Seviour (Costs) [2020] WTLR 1053

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Autumn 2020 #180

The claimant had brought a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 for reasonable financial provision from the estate of her late father, which, under the terms of his will, had passed in its entirety to the defendant.

The defendant was the deceased’s late wife. Shortly subsequent to the death of the deceased, she was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease. This had meant that she required assistance in conducting the litigation. The defendant received assistance from a former partner in a large London law firm (Alan Johnson), acting as he...