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...

St Clair v King & anr [2022] WTLR 703

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Summer 2022 #187

The defendants were the executors of the deceased’s last will dated 20 May 2009 (the 2009 will). The claimant, who was the stepdaughter of the deceased, challenged the 2009 will. There were seven issues at trial:

  1. (i) whether 2007 wills made by the deceased and her husband (the claimant’s father) were mutual wills such that if the 2009 will was admitted to probate, the estate needed to be administered to give effect to a constructive trust reflecting the terms of the 2007 will;
  2. (ii) whether there was a contract between the claimant and the deceased before the 2009 wi...

Lonsdale v Teasdale & ors [2021] WTLR 1309

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Winter 2021 #185

The claimant was the daughter of the deceased. The deceased had made a will dated 15 September 2017 of which the residuary beneficiary was D1, a friend of the deceased. A letter of intent stated that the claimant was not to benefit. The claimant, relying on medical evidence which included a poor score in a cognitive impairment screening test and a letter from the deceased’s GP opining that the deceased had likely suffered from dementia for a number of years before executing the 2017 will, challenged the 2017 will on the basis of a lack of testamentary capacity due to memory issues, and D...

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 ...

Mackay v Wesley WTLR(w) 2021-03

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

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Barnaby & anr 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...

Undue influence: Reform needed?

Emily Exton and Rebecca Welman provide a summary of recent undue influence cases and outline their relevance for practitioners ‘It is long established that mere persuasion of the testator which results in a change of mind will not amount to undue influence.’ English law distinguishes between undue influence in the context of lifetime gifts and …
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Undue influence: Behind the social façade of dementia

James McKean examines a recent addition to the growing body of case law on undue influence and the elderly testator ‘This judgment serves as a reminder that allegations of undue influence, fraud and sham can be dealt with summarily if they, or if the defence thereto, have no real prospect of success.’ The case of …
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Moursi v Doherty WTLR(w) 2019-05

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