Cowan v Foreman [2019] EWCA Civ 1336

WTLR Issue: Autumn 2019 #176

MARY COWAN

V

1. MARTIN FOREMAN (as executor of the estate of Michael Cowan and as trustee of the Business Property Trust and the Residuary Trust in the Will of Michael Cowan dated 24 March 2016 (the 'Will') and as trustee of the Michael Cowan Foundation (the 'Foundation') 2. FARRER & CO TRUST COMPANY (as trustee of the Business Property Trust and the Residuary Trust in the Will) 3. JAMES TRAFFORD AND JAMES BEAZLEY (as trustees of the Foundation) 4. BRYONY COVE (as executor of the estate of Michael Cowan)

Analysis

The appellant appealed from an order of Mostyn J by which he refused her permission pursuant to s4 of the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (the 1975 Act) to bring an application out of time for reasonable financial provision out of the estate of her late husband (the deceased), who had died in 2016 leaving an estate of £29m. By his will the deceased left all his business assets qualifying for 100% business property relief on a discretionary trust (the business property trust) for a class of beneficiaries (the discretionary beneficiaries) including the appellant, and the residue of his estate on trust for the appellant for life, but subject to overriding powers of appointment in favour of the discretionary beneficiaries (the residuary trust). In a letter of wishes the will trustees were requested to regard the appellant as the principal beneficiary of a substantial part of the business property trust, and of the whole of the residuary trust.

Counsel details

Counsel Miss Penelope Reed QC and Miss Eliza Eagling (5 Stone Buildings, Lincoln’s Inn, London WC2A 3XT, tel 020 7242 6201, e-mail clerks@5sblaw.com), instructed by Withers LLP (20 Old Bailey, London EC4M 7AN, tel 020 7597 6364, e-mail enquiries.uk@withersworldwide.com) for the appellant.


Mr Richard Wilson QC (Serle Court, 6 New Square, Lincoln’s Inn, London WC2A 3QS), instructed by Farrer & Co (66 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3LH, tel 020 3375 7000, e-mail enquiries@farrer.co.uk) for the first, second and fourth respondents in the case of the first and fourth respondents in their capacity as executors of the estate of Michael Cowan deceased and in the case of the first and second respondents in their capacity as trustees of the business property trust and the residuary trust in the will.


Miss Tracey Angus QC (5 Stone Buildings, Lincoln’s Inn, London WC2A 3XT, tel 020 7242 6201, e-mail clerks@5sblaw.com), instructed by Charles Russell Speechlys LLP (5 Fleet Place, London EC4M 7RD, tel 020 7203 5000, e-mail enquiries@crsblaw.com) for the first and third respondents in their capacity as the trustees of the foundation.

Cases referenced

Cases in bold have further reading - click to view.

Legislation referenced

Legislation in bold has further reading - click to view.

  • Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, ss2, 3, 4, 5, 20