Gorjat & ors v Gorjat HC08C03275

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Ball v Ball [2017] 1 EWHC 1750 (Ch)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Autumn 2017 #169

The Deceased was married to James Ball. They had had eleven children, including the three claimants and eight of the nine defendants. In or around 1991, the family split, when the three claimants reported their father to the police for sexually abusing them when they were younger. The Deceased felt that the complaints were exaggerated, and was annoyed that they had been made public. As a result, on 27 May 1992 the Deceased made a will excluding those three claimants from benefit, dividing her estate between her eight remaining children and one of her grandsons. The will was professional ...

Edkins v Hopkins & ors [2016] EWHC 2542 (Ch)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | January/February 2017 #166

The claimant was a friend and business colleague of Philip Hopkins, and the executor and main beneficiary under Mr Hopkins’ will dated 6 June 2014. The will draftsman, a partner in a law firm, attended Mr Hopkins at his home with two members of the firm’s staff who witnessed his signature. During the execution of the will, she noticed that Mr Hopkins was unwell and later that day he was readmitted into hospital. He died ten days later on 19 August 2014, having been diagnosed with unspecified alcoholic liver damage.

The claimant brought a claim to prove the validity of the 2014 wil...

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 ...

Undue Influence: Follow your nose

Amanda Noyce examines Hart v Burbidge [2014] and its lessons on the presumption of undue influence and lifetime gifts ‘Although the law of undue influence in relation to probate cases is a difficult hurdle to overcome, the law relating to lifetime gifts, where the donor may (or may not) now happen to be dead, may …
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Re OB, The Public Guardian v AW & anr Neutral citation: [2014] EWCOP 28

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | December 2014 #145

OB, who was born in 1916, was a widow with two adult children, AW and DH. She lived in her own home until February 2007 and thereafter with AW. On 15 September 2008, OB executed a lasting power of attorney (LPA) for property affairs, appointing AW and DH jointly and severally as her attorneys. OB’s property was sold on 15 June 2010 and realised net proceeds of £376,200. The LPA was registered by the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) on 4 March 2011. Subsequently, DH expressed concerns that long standing ‘pocket money’ payments by OB to her grandchildren had been stopp...

Watts v Watts Claim no: HC02C02559

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | December 2014 #145

The claimant Arthur Watts (Arthur) sued his brother James Watts (James) in respect of trust transactions in 1998.

In 1967 Geoffrey Watts, the father of Arthur and James, made a settlement in favour of his children and grandchildren. In 1976 this trust fund was split into separate trust funds for each of Geoffrey’s children. James was one of the trustees of Arthur’s trust fund. The main beneficiaries were Arthur in his lifetime and thereafter his legitimate children. Clause 4 allowed the trustees to pay all the capital to Arthur if they considered it to be to his advantage...

Hart & anr v Burbidge & anr

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | October 2014 #143

In 2006 the deceased made a will directing a sale of two properties, No 7 and No 43 (the properties), with the proceeds to be shared between her sons (the Harts). On the same date the deceased gave another property, Unit 15, to her daughter and son-in-law, Mr and Mrs Burbidge, and also released them from a debt of £44,000. In 2007 the deceased made a further will leaving No 7 to the Harts and No 43 to her siblings and any grandchildren surviving her with the residue to be divided equally amongst her children.

Having decided to live with the Burbidges, the deceased transferred her...

Undue Influence: Tread carefully

Schomberg v Taylor demonstrates the high evidential burden of challenging a will under undue influence. Mark Keenan and David Hickmott explain ‘Where an allegation of undue influence is made, the burden of proof is on the party alleging the misconduct and the civil standard of the balance of probabilities applies.’ There are various grounds upon …
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Undue Influence: After Etridge

Nigel Thomas examines unconscionable bargains and presumed undue influence, with reference to Evans v Lloyd ‘This was a case of presumed undue influence and that being so then the claimants were required to prove (i) a relationship of trust and confidence and (ii) a transaction that calls for explanation.’ Some might be surprised that cases …
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