Re Wales [2020] EWHC 1979 (Ch)

Autumn 2020 #180

The deceased died on 17 February 2015 as a widower with no children. He left a will dated 22 December 2008. The claimants were his executors.

Clause 7 of the will left the residuary estate to ‘such all of my nephew’s and niece’s children’. At the date of his death, the deceased had two blood nephews and two blood nieces, and also three nephews by marriage and one niece by marriage. A further nephew by marriage had died in 1992 leaving a son. The claimants sought directions as to whether the gift was just to the nieces and nephews by blood, or whether it was also to the nieces and ...

Barrs Residential & Leisure Ltd v Pleass Thomson & Co [2020] UKUT 114 (LC)

Autumn 2020 #180

The deceased was the owner and occupier of a mobile home situated on a site owned by the appellant. The site was a ‘protected site’ under the Mobile Homes Act 1983, s1 and the deceased had the benefit of a pitch agreement dated 25 November 2005, to which the Act applied. The agreement, together with the statutory controls incorporated by the Act, provided for limited rights of alienation, subject to the payment of commission to the site owner.

Sections 3(3) and (4) of the Act provide that:

‘(3) Where a person entitled to the benefit of and bound by an agreement to which this ...

Gardiner v Tabet & anr [2020] EWHC 1471 (Ch)

Autumn 2020 #180

By a will dated 29 May 2017 (the will), Eric Tabet (the testator) gave the whole of his estate to the claimant. The testator, who suffered from long-standing mental illness, had recently been diagnosed with a brain tumour. The will, which was in accordance with the testator’s long-held testamentary intentions, was drawn up by Mr Jamal Hammoud, his close friend for 30 years. He is said to have prepared the will in accordance with those instructions, to have read it aloud to the testator and to have witnessed his signature of it together with another friend, Mr Moshin Lakhim. The testator ...

Re Boyes [2013] EWHC 4027 (Ch)

Autumn 2020 #180

The testator (T) died in 2010 aged 86 with an estate of £391,573. The claimant (C) was the elderly sister of T’s late wife and sought to propound his last will dated November 2009, which left the estate as to two thirds to her and one third to the first defendant (D1), T’s daughter, who was also executor along with the second defendant. The third and fourth defendants (D3, D4), T’s two sons, challenged the validity of the 2009 will on grounds of lack of testamentary capacity and/or fraudulent calumny allegedly perpetrated by D1 (who was the beneficiary under C’s will). D3 and D4 therefor...

Christodoulides v Marcou [2017] EWHC 2632 (Ch)

Autumn 2020 #180

The claimant and the defendant were sisters, the daughters of Agni Iacovou (the testatrix). By her will dated 7 August 2012 (the will), made shortly before her death two days later, the testatrix gave her entire net residuary estate to the claimant whom she appointed to be her executrix. The claimant issued proceedings on 18 June 2014 seeking an order that the court pronounce for the will in solemn form. The defendant defended the claim on the basis that the will had been procured by fraudulent calumny – that the claimant had poisoned the mind of the testatrix by casting untruthful asper...

Gibbons & anr v Smith & ors [2020] EWHC 1727 (Ch)

Autumn 2020 #180

The claim concerned two adjacent plots of land on Station Road, Hollingwood near Chesterfield, Derbyshire (Plot 1 and Plot 2, collectively the land). At some point before 1986 a Mr Mills, Mr Hartshorne and Mr Unwin had formed a club for railway workers (the association). Plot 1 was purchased by the three in 1986, the conveyance describing them as the trustees of the association and that they took the plot on trust for the association. In 1990 the same three purchased Plot 2. The conveyance again stated they were purchasing as trustees of an association, but the name of that association w...

Gandesha & anr v Gandesha & ors [2020] EWHC 1743 (QB)

Autumn 2020 #180

The claim involved a 14-bedroomed property in London (the property) which was purchased in 1991 and held upon trust for five brothers as tenants in common in equal shares. It was intended from the outset that the property should be a home for all the brothers and their families. A declaration of trust was executed in June 2015 in order to formalise the arrangement between the brothers.

By the declaration of trust it was declared that the brothers held the property upon trust for sale with power to postpone the sale, and upon trust as to the proceeds of sale and the net rents and p...

Caldicott & ors v Richards & anor [2020] EWHC 767 (Ch)

Autumn 2020 #180

Mr Caldicott is the son of the late Mrs Yvonne Caldicott, who died in November 2012. He, his wife and his adult son brought a claim against his sister, Mrs Pearson, and her co-executor Mrs Walker, as trustees of a discretionary will trust declared by their mother’s will. The beneficiaries of the trust were a closed class composed of the claimants and Mrs Pearson. Mrs Pearson and her co-trustee are private client solicitors and are now both partners in a firm specialising in that field.

Under the terms of the will Mrs Pearson was given a 50% interest in a family company, Wyvern Sec...

Bowack & ors v Saxton [2020] EWHC 1049 (Ch)

Autumn 2020 #180

The claimants as respective settlor and trustees of two trusts of investment bonds sought declarations that the trusts had been completely constituted, or alternatively rectification so that such constitution has been properly made. The application was unopposed.

In 2013 the claimants (who were husband and wife) were advised by an independent financial adviser to purchase bonds issued by AXA (Isle of Man) Ltd, which on purchase would be settled on discretionary trusts for the benefit of a class of potential beneficiaries, including their only child, the defendant. The claimants we...

Challen v Challen & anor [2020] EWHC 1330 (Ch)

Autumn 2020 #180

C and Richard Challen (the deceased) were in a relationship for 40 years and had two children (the defendants). Throughout that period the deceased subjected C to sustained coercive control, leaving her in an abnormal psychiatric state. On 15 August 2010 C killed the deceased with a hammer and was convicted of his murder in 2011. In February 2019 that conviction was quashed and the matter remitted for a retrial, and in June 2019 C was convicted upon a guilty plea of manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility. Under the common law ‘forfeiture rule’ C was precluded from benefiting...