In re Dale dec’d: ChD 1994

The taking of a benefit on the strength of a binding engagement is enough to create a constructive trust. For this doctrine to apply there must be a contract at law. For the doctrine of mutual wills to apply it is not necessary that the second testator take a personal direct benefit under the other will.


Morritt J


[1994] Ch 31


England and Wales


CitedGray v Perpetual Trustee Co Ltd PC 12-Jun-1928
The Board considered a claim that wills had been mutual. Viscount Haldane said: ‘The case before us is one in which the evidence of an agreement, apart from that of making the wills in question, is so lacking that they are unable to come to the . .
CitedDufour v Pereira 1769
Nature of Joint and Mutual Wills
The court was asked as to the validity and effect of a single joint will.
Held: Lord Camden considered the nature of joint or mutual wills. Lord Camden LC said: ‘The parties by mutual will do each of them devise, upon the engagement of the . .
CitedLord Walpole v Lord Orford HL 1797
The court considered the difference between an obligation accepted in law, and what was described as ‘an honourable engagement’. . .

Cited by:

CitedGoodchild and Another v Goodchild CA 2-May-1997
The deceased and his wife made wills in virtually identical form. The husband changed his will after their divorce, but his son and other wife claimed that the couple had intended the wills to be part of a larger arrangement of their affairs, . .
CitedWalters v Olins CA 4-Jul-2008
The claimant appealed against a finding that he had entered into a mutual will contract with the deceased.
Held: It is a legally necessary condition of mutual wills that there is clear and satisfactory evidence of a contract between two . .
CitedHealey v Brown ChD 25-Apr-2002
The two deceased had made mutual wills bequeathing the family home. The survivor transferred the property during his life to defeat the agreement. It was now said that the arrangement fell foul of the 1989 Act and was unenforceable.
Held: . .
CitedCharles and Others v Fraser ChD 11-Aug-2010
The claimants said that the last will had purported to revoke and earlier but mutual will. They said that the executors should be required to implement the revoked will. The wills had been made by elderly sisters. The wills were in similar terms, . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Trusts, Wills and Probate

Updated: 06 May 2022; Ref: scu.214596