Pay Now Don’t Pay Later …

As a solicitor in the Dispute Resolution Department I often see families who have been torn apart fighting over a loved one’s estate, claiming “It’s what they would have wanted”. Without a properly drafted and executed will, no-one can confirm that. However, even if there is a will, often a family member or friend is Read More …

“Miss the Boat” and you may need a 1883 case to save the day (Re Perrins, Perrins v Holland [2009])

It is to state the blindingly obvious that a testator must be mentally capable of making a will. The time for satisfying the test of capacity is the time of execution of the will. However, under the principle in Parker v Felgate (1883), it suffices if the testator had capacity at the time when he Read More …

A “Toothless” Will-Writing Code!

Solicitors have for a long time warned against the dangers and misconceived cost savings in Clients utilising the services of unregulated will writing companies run by non-qualified individuals. Even with a newly announced voluntary code of practise approved by the Office of Fair trading (OFT) for non-lawyer will writing companies, there is little to suggest Read More …

Revocation of a Will by subsequent Civil Partnership (or Marriage)

Section 18B [1] of the Wills Act 1837 contains new provisions with regard to the revocation of an existing Will by the formation of a Civil Partnership, in the same way that marriage automatically revokes an existing Will, UNLESS, in either Civil Partnership or Marriage cases:  It appears from the Will: That at the time Read More …

Insane delusions and poisoned affections?

Re Ritchie,Ritchie v Joslin [2009] The classic test for Testamentary Capacity was establish back in 1870 and has stood the test of time ever since! The principles laid down in Banks v Goodfellow [1870-71] state that the Testator (the deceased who made the Will): Must understand the nature of the act of making a Will Read More …

Latin and Death Bed Gifts are alive and well!

It is not uncommon for a terminally ill person (the Donor) to gift assets to a loved one in contemplation of their anticipated demise. How does the law view such “Death Bed” gifting (“Donatio Mortis Causa” (or DMC for short!)) and can an aggrieved beneficiary under a Will challenge the gift if the effect is to have severely reduced the value of any remaining property passing under a Will?
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