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...

Petition by Vindex Trustees Ltd [2021] WTLR 1437

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Winter 2021 #185

The will and codicils of the late Estelle Brownrigg contained a gift of a portion of the residue of her estate to a charity named as the ‘Nelson Mandela Educational Fund, South Africa’. Despite an extensive search, nothing could be found to suggest that any charity with that name had ever existed. The sole executor of her estate petitioned for directions from the court as to whether the petitioner as executor could distribute a portion of the deceased’s residual estate to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, on the basis that the fact that no charity with the specified name had ever exist...

Wills: Sealing royal wills – justifiable secrecy?

Natasha Dzameh reviews the High Court’s decision to seal the will of His late Royal Highness Prince Philip In determining whether the will and other probate documents would be open to inspection, the public interest issue would likely be determinative. The sovereign’s will need not be proved by a grant of probate. However this is …
This post is only available to members.

Burns v Bean & ors [2021] WTLR 795

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Autumn 2021 #184

Daisy Bean (Daisy) passed away on 19 July 2017. She had four children, but only three remaining alive at her death. She had a total of 73 descendants at the time of her death including her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. She left a will dated 2 November 2010 (the 2010 will). It provided ‘MY Trustees shall then distribute the balance remaining [ie the residuary estate]… equally among all my children who are alive at my death’. The issue falling to be determined was whether, on its proper construction, the will indicated an intention contrary to ...

Pescatore v Valentino & ors [2021] WTLR 917

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Autumn 2021 #184

The claimant, a Mongolian national, was the second wife and widow of the deceased. She applied for an interim anti-suit injunction against two of the three defendants, the deceased’s adult children, restraining them from continuing proceedings against her in Italy pending a trial of a dispute concerning the deceased’s will in England.

The deceased was born in Italy, but was a naturalised British citizen. He had lived in England for 58 years until his death, aged 78, in 2018. His entire working life had been in England. He paid tax in the UK. He had raised a family in England (incl...

Thomas v Thomas & ors [2021] WTLR 1091

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Autumn 2021 #184

Elizabeth Thomas (Elizabeth) passed away in 2018, leaving a will dated 30 September 2004. She was survived by her three sons, David, Owen and Gareth, and her 13 grandchildren.

Her will included, among others the following terms:

‘If my husband has [predeceased me]… I leave my property to be divided amongst my sons and their heirs. At present, these are as follows:… Sons — Owen, Gareth and David; their children are Owen/Fay; Gareth/Gwennan and Samuel and Raphael; David/Ellen Christie Thomas and Jens Rhys Thomas… ’

‘The proceeds fro...

Wrangle v Brunt & anr [2021] WTLR 1143

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Autumn 2021 #184

This was an appeal from a first instance judgment in proceedings relating to the estate of Dean Brunt (Dean), who tragically died aged 35 on 8 December 2007, when he was hit by a train. On 25 June 2008, the first defendant/appellant (Marlene), who was Dean’s mother, obtained letters of administration in relation to Dean’s estate on the basis that he died intestate.

Over ten years later, in November 2018, the claimant/respondent, the deceased’s uncle by marriage (Bob), started the proceedings, seeking to revoke the letters of administration issued to Marlene, on the basis that a pu...

Re Clitheroe [2021] WTLR 449

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Summer 2021 #183

The claimant (C) and the defendant (D) were the surviving children of the deceased. Her other child, E, had died of cancer without children. Although the deceased had been close to D and D’s daughter, this changed after a disagreement between D and the deceased about E’s medication, when the deceased threatened that she would not forgive or speak to D again. The Deputy Master found that D was not responsible for the estrangement and that the deceased had irrationally maintained that it was D who cut her out rather than the other way around. E’s death had a profound effe...

Eade v Hogg & ors [2021] WTLR 507

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Summer 2021 #183

Mr Nodes (the deceased) passed away on 8 March 2019. The deceased’s estate included a large shareholding in a family company (the company). Each of the deceased’s wife and his former colleague (the claimant) also possessed small shareholdings in their own name. By his will, dated 22 October 2015, the deceased left his large shareholding in the company on trust for his wife for life, subject to an overriding power of appointment in favour either or both of his wife and his former colleague, allowing for an appointment of shares ‘up to such number… as shall when added to ...

The British University in Dubai v Ebrahimi [2021] WTLR 703

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Summer 2021 #183

The deceased died on 4 July 2018 leaving a disputed will, dated 3 May 2018, probate of which was granted to the defendant, who together with his wife were the only beneficiaries.

The 2018 will was a holographic one-page will. On one side it bore the signatures of two witnesses who, it was common ground, had witnessed the testator’s signature on 4 May 2018 when not together at the same time and so did not validly attest the will in accordance with s9, Wills Act 1837. On the reverse of the will were two further signatures dated 3 May 2018, belonging to two further wit...