Re Wales [2020] WTLR 1121

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 ...

Swan & ors v Gibbs & ors [2020] WTLR 1109

Autumn 2020 #180

Applications under the Variation of Trusts Act 1958 were made in respect of will trusts referred to as ‘the Baronetcy Trust’, under which property was held in two funds known as ‘James’s Fund’ and ‘James’s Children’s Fund’, and ‘the Lady Cayzer Will Trust’ in relation to property termed ‘the Molly & Lily Shares’. The primary beneficiaries of the relevant trusts were James Cayzer-Colvin and his two daughters, Molly (aka Mollie) and Lily. At the time of the applications James was 55, Mollie 24 and Lily 21. There were no minor beneficiaries of the trusts but persons unborn or u...

Re Studdert [2020] WTLR 1097

Autumn 2020 #180

The deceased died on 9 August 2017. The claimants were his personal representatives. The defendants were the trustees of the EAC Educational Trust, a charitable trust created by the deceased which was the residuary beneficiary under the deceased’s will.

The deceased was convicted in 1988 of possessing indecent images of children and in 1996 of attempting to import indecent images. In 2006 he pleaded guilty to 26 counts of possessing, making, and distributing indecent images of children. He had also had his licence to minister suspended and was prohibited from exercising any priest...

Sofer v SwissIndependent Trustees SA [2020] WTLR 1075

Autumn 2020 #180

The claimant was the intended beneficiary of the Puyol trust (the trust) which was created in discretionary form by Hyman Sofer (the settlor) in July 2006. The defendant was a professional trustee company based in Switzerland. The settlor was added as a ‘specified beneficiary’ while the claimant and other issue of the settlor became ‘general beneficiaries’. The trust included a power for the trustee to lend any money forming part of the trust assets to any beneficiary and there was a prohibition on the trustee paying any part of the capital to any beneficiary prior to the death of the se...

Smith & anr v Stanley & ors [2020] WTLR 1059

Autumn 2020 #180

The testator died in March 2015. By his last will of 14 March 2015 (the will) the testator gave the sum of £4.2m (the legacy fund) to his trustees to be held upon trust to pay the income to his widow for life, subject to an overriding power of appointment in clause 4 of the will for the benefit of a class of discretionary beneficiaries including the testator’s sister. The testator left a letter of wishes for his trustees which indicated how he wanted his estate to be shared between the various members of the discretionary class. By clause 19 of the will the statutory power of advancement...

Shapton v Seviour (Costs) [2020] WTLR 1053

Autumn 2020 #180

The claimant had brought a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 for reasonable financial provision from the estate of her late father, which, under the terms of his will, had passed in its entirety to the defendant.

The defendant was the deceased’s late wife. Shortly subsequent to the death of the deceased, she was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease. This had meant that she required assistance in conducting the litigation. The defendant received assistance from a former partner in a large London law firm (Alan Johnson), acting as he...

Shapton v Seviour [2020] WTLR 1047

Autumn 2020 #180

The claimant was the daughter of the late Mr Colin John Seviour. The defendant was Mr Seviour’s second wife. Under the terms of Mr Seviour’s will the defendant was to take the entire estate outright. Mr Seviour died on 8 August 2016. His estate was sworn at £268,000 of which £215,000 was comprised in his share of the matrimonial home he had held under a tenancy in common together with the defendant.

In 2017 the defendant was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease. In order to retain her independence she had to have the matrimonial home modified to accommodate her needs. The defendan...

Rettendon Parish Council v Hart & ors [2020] WTLR 1029

Autumn 2020 #180

On 5 December 1861 an award made under the Inclosure Act 1845 created two separate charitable trusts of plots of land within the parish of Rettendon in Essex: the Allotment for Exercise and Recreation (charity number 271480) and the Allotment for the Labouring Poor (charity number 271479).

The claimant was the local civil parish council, established by s1(1) of the Local Government Act 1894. The defendants were current or former members of the parish council. Between 2013 and 2017 a series of appointments of individual parish councillors as trustees of t...

Lehtimäki & ors v Cooper [2020] WTLR 967

Autumn 2020 #180

H and C were two directors and trustees of a charitable company limited by guarantee. They, together with L, were the members of the company. In July 2015 H and C agreed that, subject to the approval of the Charity Commission or the court, C would resign as a director and member of the company and the company would make a grant of $360m to a charity founded by C.

Companies Act 2006, s217 provides that:

‘A company may not make a payment for loss of office to a director of the company unless the payment has been approved by a resolution of the members of ...

Gibbons & anr v Smith & ors [2020] WTLR 947

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...