Birch v Treasury Solicitor: CA 1950

There had been donationes mortis causa of the money standing in four accounts, by the delivery of a Post Office Savings Bank book and three other bank books of various descriptions. Lord Evershed MR stated: ‘the courts will examine any case of alleged donatio mortis causa and reject it if in truth what is alleged as a donatio is an attempt to make a nuncupative will, or a will in other respects not complying with the forms required by the Wills Act.’
Lord Evershed MR restated the principle in the following terms: ‘The question then is: Where actual transfer does not or cannot take place, what will ‘amount to that’? As a matter of principle, delivery of the indicia of title (viz., the document or thing the possession or production of which entitles the possessor to the money or property purported to be given), as distinct from mere evidence of title, should satisfy Lord Hardwicke’s condition.’

Lord Evershed MR
[1951] Ch 298, [1950] 2 All ER 1198
Wills Act 1837
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedKing v The Chiltern Dog Rescue and Another CA 9-Jun-2015
This is an appeal by charities who are entitled to inherit under a will against a decision that (a) the deceased transferred her house to her nephew by a donatio mortis causa, alternatively (b) the nephew is entitled to recover 75,000 pounds against . .
CitedSen v Headley CA 28-Feb-1991
D, who was in hospital and near death, said to R (his former partner): ‘The house is yours, Margaret. You have the keys. They are in your bag. The deeds are in the steel box.’ After D’s death R discovered that D had put had put into her bag the only . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Wills and Probate

Updated: 25 November 2021; Ref: scu.548013

In re Re Rose, Midland Bank Executor and Trustee Company Limited v Rose: ChD 1949

The testator handed a transfer of the relevant shares to the donee, Mr Hook, together with the relevant certificates. The transfer had not been registered by the date of his death.
Held: Equity will not compel an imperfect gift to be completed. Nevertheless, the testator had done everything in his power to divest himself of the shares in question to Mr Hook. He had executed a transfer. It was not suggested that the transfer was not in accordance with the company’s regulations. He had handed that transfer together with the certificates to Mr Hook. There was nothing else the testator could do. Mr Hook’s legal title would not be perfected until the directors passed the transfer for registration, but that was not an act which the testator had to do, it was an act which depended on the discretion of the directors. The gift was effective

Jenkins J
[1949] Ch 78
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedPennington and Another v Waine, Crampton and others CA 4-Mar-2002
The deceased had made a gift of shares. She had executed a transfer, and acting upon the promise, the donee had agreed to become a director which he could only do if he also became a shareholder. The transfer was delivered to the deceased’s agent, . .
ApprovedIn re Rose, Rose v Inland Revenue Commissioners CA 1952
The deceased had executed instruments of transfer and delivered them with the relevant certificates to the transferees.
Held: The transfers were transferred the whole of the deceased’s title both legal and equitable in the shares and all . .
CitedMascall v Mascall CA 13-Jun-1984
The question was whether a gift of land was completely constituted by delivery of the land certificate
Held: Equity will not come to the aid of a volunteer. Therefore, if a donee needs to get an order from a court of equity in order to . .
CitedPennington and Another v Waine, Crampton and others CA 4-Mar-2002
The deceased had made a gift of shares. She had executed a transfer, and acting upon the promise, the donee had agreed to become a director which he could only do if he also became a shareholder. The transfer was delivered to the deceased’s agent, . .
CitedBurnett’s Trustee v Grainger and Another HL 4-Mar-2004
A flat was sold, but before the purchasers registered the transfer, the seller was sequestrated, and his trustee registered his own interest as trustee. The buyer complained that the trustee was unjustly enriched.
Held: The Act defined the . .
Appeal fromIn re Rose, Rose v Inland Revenue Commissioners CA 1952
The deceased had executed instruments of transfer and delivered them with the relevant certificates to the transferees.
Held: The transfers were transferred the whole of the deceased’s title both legal and equitable in the shares and all . .
MentionedZeital and Another v Kaye and Others CA 5-Mar-2010
The deceased had held an apartment through beneficial interests in shares in a limited company. He died intestate. The parties disputed the ownership of the two shares. The company had been put into a members’ liquidation, and the company liquidator . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Company, Wills and Probate, Equity

Updated: 17 November 2021; Ref: scu.183412

Schrader v Schrader: ChD 11 Mar 2013

Brothers contested their late mother’s will, one saying that the later one was made when she lacked capacity and was under the undue influence of the other.
Held: The evidence of one brother that he had taken no significant part in the preparation of the later will was shown to be false by the amendments in his handwriting to the draft. There was no irrationality on the face of the will so as to remove the presumption that she had capacity, and indeed the evidence supported that. The evidence was that she understood knew what she was doing and its effect, and therefore. It could not be criticised a being executed with want of knowledge and approval.
As to undue influence: ‘It will be a common feature of a large number of undue influence cases that there is no direct evidence of the application of influence. It is of the nature of undue influence that it goes on when no-one is looking. That does not stop its being proved. The proof has to come, if at all, from more circumstantial evidence. The present case has those characteristics. The allegation is a serious one, so the evidence necessary to make out the case has to be commensurately stronger, on normal principles. ‘ The undue influence was found to be proved: ‘Nick was instrumental in sowing in his mother’s mind the desirability of his having the house, and in doing so he took advantage of her vulnerability. It is not possible to determine any more than that the precise form of the pressure, or its occasion or occasions, but it is not necessary to do so. I am satisfied that this will results from some form of undue influence.’

Mann J
[2013] EWHC 466 (Ch)
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedBanks v Goodfellow QBD 1870
Test for Capacity to Execute Will
The testator suffered from delusions, but not so badly or in such a way as was found to affect his capacity or to influence his testamentary disposition. The judge had given the following direction: ‘The question is whether . . the testator was . .
CitedHoff and others v Atherton CA 19-Nov-2004
Appeals were made against pronouncements for the validity of a will and against the validity of an earlier will. The solicitor drawing the will was to receive a benefit, and had requested an independent solicitor to see the testatrix and ensure that . .
CitedRe Loxston, Abbot v Richardson ChD 2006
Mr N Strauss QC said: ‘The question is always whether the testator had the necessary capacity at the time the Will was executed, and that may depend upon the efforts made by others to enable her to have in mind all the relevant considerations . .
CitedWharton v Bancroft and Others ChD 30-Jan-2012
The will was challenged for want of knowledge and approval of it by the testatrix.
Held: Norris J set out the correct approach: ‘(a) The assertion that Mr Wharton did not ‘know and approve’ of the 2008 Will requires the Court, before admitting . .
CitedEdwards v Edwards and others ChD 3-May-2007
A son of the deceased alleged that his brother had used his undue influence over their mother to persuade her to change her will to exclude him from it.
Held: Lewison J set out the correct approach to an allegation of undue influence, saying: . .
CitedGill v Woodall and Others CA 14-Dec-2010
The court considered the authorities as to the capacity to make a will, and gave detailed guidance.
Held: As a matter of common sense and authority, the fact that a will has been properly executed, after being prepared by a solicitor and read . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Wills and Probate, Undue Influence

Leading Case

Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.471578

The Thomas and Agnes Carvel Foundation v Carvel and Another: ChD 11 Jun 2007

The husband and wife had made mutual wills in the US with an express agreement not to make later alterations or dispositions without the agreement of the other or at all after the first death. The wife survived, but having lost the first will made a further one, and created a trust. The claimant now sought removal of the executrix and to set aside earlier orders made in the administration of the Estate. The US courts had upheld the reciprocal and mutual wills, but the executrix had made applications to the court here without informing the court of the US proceedings, or the claimant of the proceedings.
Held: The applications succeeded. The obligations under a mutual will arose not under the wills themselves but under a trust created at the time when the wills were made. A court did not therefore have jurisdiction to remove an executor under the 1985 Act at the request of somebody not claiming under the will proved. However the Foundation was in a position to apply under the 1896 Act.
In summary proceedings it would be wrong to make any finding that the executrix had behaved dishonestly, but if not she had showed a failure to understand her duties, and the court was not inclined to believe that she would abide by court orders. The orders were made.
In proceedings under section 50 of the 1985 Act: ‘The overriding consideration is, therefore, whether the trusts are being properly executed; or, as he put it in a later passage, the main guide must be ‘the welfare of the beneficiaries.”

Lewison J
[2007] EWHC 1314 (Ch), [2007] 4 All ER 81
Bailii
Judicial Trustees Act 1896, Administration of Justice Act 1985 50
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedRe Smith 1880
Once an estate has been administered, the personal representative becomes a trustee; and at that stage the court’s inherent jurisdiction to control trusts arises allowing if necessary an order for his removal. . .
CitedRe Ratcliff 1898
The court has no inherent jurisdiction to remove a personal representative in that capacity. . .
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 . .
CitedIn re Hagger; Freeman v Arscott ChD 1930
The husband and wife had made wills in similar terms, each leaving their separate property to each other on the first spouse dying with remainders over. They agreed that the wills should not be revoked without the agreement of the other. The wife . .
CitedBirmingham v Renfrew 11-Jun-1937
(High Court of Australia) Cases of mutual wills are only one example of a wider category of cases, for example secret trusts, in which a court of equity will intervene to impose a constructive trust. Latham CJ described a mutual will arrangement as . .
CitedRe Marshall’s Will Trusts 1945
The word ‘trust’ is to be given its ordinary meaning. Cohen J adopted, as its ordinary meaning, the definition then to be found in Underhill on Trusts: ‘A trust is an equitable obligation, binding a person (who is called a trustee) to deal with . .
CitedGleeson v J Wippell and Co Ltd ChD 1977
The court considered the circumstances giving rise to a plea of res judicata, and proposed a test of privity in cases which did not fall into any recognised category. ‘Second, it seems to me that the sub-stratum of the doctrine is that a man ought . .
MentionedJohnson v Gore Wood and Co HL 14-Dec-2000
Shareholder May Sue for Additional Personal Losses
A company brought a claim of negligence against its solicitors, and, after that claim was settled, the company’s owner brought a separate claim in respect of the same subject-matter.
Held: It need not be an abuse of the court for a shareholder . .
CitedWytcherley v Andrews 1871
Lord Penzance said: ‘There is a practice in this court, by which any person having an interest may make himself a party to the suit by intervening; and it was because of the existence of that practice that the judges of the Prerogative Court held, . .
CitedNana Ofori Atta (II) v Nana Abu Bonsra (II) PC 1958
(West Africa) Care must be taken in respect of the notion that merely standing by and waiting to see the outcome of a case in which the non-party has an interest, without more, involves an abuse of process. The parties now disputed title to land, . .
CitedHouse of Spring Gardens v Waite CA 1991
The principle of abuse of process is capable of applying where the relevant earlier proceedings have taken place before a foreign court (Ireland). In this case the defendants argued that the judgment obtained in Ireland had been obtained . .
CitedKammins Ballrooms Co Limited v Zenith Investments (Torquay) Limited HL 1970
The tenant had served his section 26 notice under the 1954 Act, but then began the court proceedings before the minumum two month period had expired. The landlord did not take the point at first, and delivered an answer and negotiated compensation. . .
CitedLetterstedt v Broers PC 22-Mar-1884
(Supreme Court of the Cape of Good Hope) Lack of harmony may be of itself a good reason for a trustee to resign or be dismissed. Lord Blackburn approved a passage in Story’s Equity Jurisprudence, s 1289: ‘But in cases of positive misconduct, courts . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Wills and Probate

Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.253582

Di Placito v Slater and others: CA 19 Dec 2003

The parties had earlier compromised their dispute, with the claimant undertaking not to lodge any further claim unless he did so within a certain time. They now sought to commence action.
Held: When considering whether to discharge such an undertaking the court should ask: ‘whether it would be just to deprive the respondent of the benefit of the bargain made with the appellant and whether the circumstances are so different from those contemplated at the time of the agreement that it would be just to allow the appellant to resile from the agreement. This involves a consideration of the relevant circumstances, including a consideration of the question whether the circumstances which have subsequently arisen were circumstances which were intended to be covered or ought to have been foreseen at the time the agreement was made.’
Potter LJ: ‘It has been held that in order to be effective, a waiver must be made without undue compulsion (Pfeifer and Plankl v Austria (1992) 14 EHRR 692 at para 37) and ‘must be made in an unequivocal manner and must not run counter to any important public interest’, Hakansson v Sweden (1991) 13 EHRR 1 para 66). Subject to those qualifications ‘neither the letter nor the spirit of [Article 6(1)] prevents a person from waiving of his own free will, either expressly or tacitly, the entitlement to have his case heard in public’ (ibid para 66). It is also clear that arbitration proceedings agreed to by contract or in some other voluntary manner are regarded as generally compatible with Article 6(1) on the basis that the parties have expressly or tacitly renounced or waived their right of access to an ordinary court: see Suovanieni v Finland Application No. 31737/96, February 23, 1999. In my view there is no reason why the principle of waiver should not extend to circumstances where, without compulsion or constraint, a party voluntarily contracts with another party in the course of litigation that he will not proceed to trial upon a dispute between them unless he has issued proceedings by a particular date. Article 6 is principally concerned with questions of access. Where, in a case involving litigation of a private right, the claimant voluntarily limits his own right of access by agreement with the other party to the dispute, the considerations of justice arise simply as between the parties to the dispute; no additional public interest element falls to be considered. In my view no breach of Article 6(1) can be demonstrated in this case.’
A critical factor is that the making and acceptance of an offer of amends leads to an agreement with important and well-understood consequences: ‘It appears to us that an important starting point for such a consideration is this. A person does not have to publish defamatory material without checking whether or not it is true. Thereafter he does not have to make an offer of amends. The purpose of the scheme is to engender compromise and the time when all reasonable enquiries should be made is before an offer to make amends is made because, save in special or exceptional circumstances of the kind we have described, the defendant will have to pay compensation under the scheme. The same is true of a defendant making a CPR Part 36 offer or an offer outside Part 36.’

Lord Justice Laws Lord Justice Potter Lady Justice Arden
[2003] EWCA Civ 1863, Times 29-Jan-2004, [2004] 1 WLR 1605
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedEronat v Tabbah CA 10-Jul-2002
. .
MentionedRe Hudson, Hudson v Hudson ChD 1966
The plaintiff’s marriage had been dissolved and her former husband was ordered to pay her maintenance at a specified rate. The husband subsequently filed evidence that he was unable to comply with that order but offered to undertake to pay one-third . .
CitedMiller and Another v Scorey and Others ChD 2-Apr-1996
Using disclosed documents in second action with similar parties may be a contempt, depending significantly upon whether any undertaking, express or implied was given. The court struck out an action where proceedings were commenced in reliance on . .
CitedBiguzzi v Rank Leisure Plc CA 26-Jul-1999
The court’s powers under the new CPR to deal with non-compliance with time limits, were wide enough to allow the court to allow re-instatement of an action previously struck out. The court could find alternative ways of dealing with any delay which . .
CitedWoodhouse v Consignia Plc; Steliou v Compton CA 7-Mar-2002
The claimant continued an action brought in her late husband’s name. The action had begun under the former rules. After the new rules came into effect, the action was automatically stayed, since no progress had been made for over a year. Her . .
CitedAsiansky Television Plc and Another v Bayer-Rosin CA 19-Nov-2001
The court considered the circumstancs allowing a striking out.
Held: Consideration should be given to the question whether striking out the claim or defence would be disproportionate and, except perhaps where striking it out would be plainly . .
CitedEronat v Tabbah CA 10-Jul-2002
. .
CitedPurcell v F C Trigell Ltd CA 1971
The court will not interfere with an existing consent order, save in circumstances in which it could interfere with a contract as a matter of substantive law. A consent order derives its authority from the contract made between the parties. . .
CitedSiebe Gorman and Co Ltd v Pineupac Ltd 1982
The court should be expected to be reluctant to relieve a party of the consequences of a consent order. . .
CitedRopac Ltd v Inntrepreneur Pub Co and Another ChD 7-Jun-2000
There had been a consent order in the terms of an unless order giving the landlord an order for possession unless the tenant paid sums by a certain date, time being of the essence. The order was not complied with and the tenant applied for a . .
CitedDermot Gerard Richard Walsh v Andre Martin Misseldine CA 29-Feb-2000
The claimant sought damages for injuries from 1989. His claim was pursued effectively, but a four-year delay ensued after 1994. He then sought to enlarge his claim greatly by introducing a lot of new issues of which the defendant’s insurers had no . .
CitedDeweer v Belgium ECHR 27-Feb-1980
The applicant, a Belgian butcher, paid a fine by way of settlement in the face of an order for the closure of his shop until judgment was given in an intended criminal prosecution or until such fine was paid.
Held: Since the payment was made . .
CitedHakansson And Sturesson v Sweden ECHR 21-Feb-1990
Where agricultural property is bought subject to the conditions of the general law, and the purchaser is subsequently obliged to re-sell the property at a substantially lower price, the Court will consider the lawfulness and purpose of the . .
CitedPfeifer And Plankl v Austria ECHR 25-Feb-1992
Two of the judges who had acted in Mr Pfeifer’s case also presided at his trial, despite a clear provision of the Code of Criminal Procedure disqualifying them. The Commission dealt with whether the court was ‘established by law’ separately from . .
CitedPurdy v Cambran 17-Dec-1999
It is necessary to concentrate on the intrinsic justice of a particular case in the light of the overriding objective. ‘For the reasons which I have just given, I think that the question is whether the claim has no real prospect of succeeding at . .

Cited by:
CitedThe Secretary of State for Trade and Industry v Jonkler and Another ChD 10-Feb-2006
The applicant had given an undertaking to the court to secure discontinuance of company director disqualification procedings. He now sought a variation of the undertaking.
Held: The claimant had given an undertaking, but in the light of new . .
CitedStretford v The Football Association Ltd and Another CA 21-Mar-2007
The claimant was a football player’s agent. The licensing scheme required disputes, including disciplinary procedures, to be referred to arbitration. He denied that the rule had been incorporated in the contract. He also complained that the . .
CitedWarren v The Random House Group Ltd CA 16-Jul-2008
An offer of amends by the defendant had been accepted by the claimant. The defendant then sought to set aside the agreement and to resist the claim on its merits in reliance on a defence of justification. The parties disputed whether such an offer . .
CitedBarron and Others v Collins MEP QBD 22-Dec-2016
The defendant MEP had had adjourned the claim against her for defamation, claiming that her actions has been as an MEP and therefore exempt from proceedings. The chair of the European Parliament Legal Affairs Committee had received and rejected her . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Wills and Probate, Litigation Practice

Leading Case

Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.188901

Re JS (Disposal of Body): FD 10 Nov 2016

Child’s Wish for post-mortem cryonic Preservation

JS, a child of 14, anticipating her death from cancer expressed the desire that her body should receive cryonic preservation in the hope that one day a treatment might be available to allow her to be revived, and proceedings were issued. Her parents were divorced, and they differed as to what should be done.
Held: The form of application was for a specific issue order. JS had capacity, and there would be no inevitable practical obstacle: ‘All this case is about is providing a means by which the uncertainty about what can happen during JS’s lifetime and after her death can be resolved so far as possible. JS cannot expect automatic acceptance of her wishes, but she is entitled to know whether or not they can be acted upon by those who will be responsible for her estate after her death. It would be unacceptable in principle for the law to withhold its answer until after she had died. Also, as a matter of practicality, argument about the preservation issue cannot be delayed until after death as the process has to be started immediately if it is to happen at all.’
Applying the JSB case, with acknowledgement to the different statutory context, a prospective order was available, and granted injunctions limiting the manner in which the father can act not only while JS is alive, but also following her death, and the making of a prospective order investing the mother with the sole right to apply for letters of administration after JS dies.

Peter Jackson J
[2016] Inquest LR 259, [2016] EWHC 2859 (Fam), (2017) 153 BMLR 152, [2016] WLR(D) 650, [2017] WTLR 227, [2017] Med LR 37, [2017] 4 WLR 1
Bailii, Judiciary
Human Tissue Act 2004, Children Act 1989 8, Wills Act 1837 8, Non-Contentious Probate Rules 1987 22(1)(c)
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedWilliams v Williams 1882
By codicil to his will the deceased directed that his executors should give his body to Miss Williams; and by letter he requested her to cremate his body under a pile of wood, to place the ashes into a specified Wedgwood vase and to claim her . .
CitedRegina v Gwynedd County Council ex parte B and Another 1992
The ambit of the 1980 act does not extend to regulating events arising after a child’s death. . .
CitedFessi v Whitmore 1999
The place with which the deceased had the closest connection is relevant as to the decision as to his or her ultimate resting place. . .
CitedBorrows v HM Coroner for Preston QBD 15-May-2008
The family members disputed who should have custody of the deceased’s body and the right to make arrangements for the funeral. . .
CitedIbuna and Another v Arroyo and Another ChD 2-Mar-2012
The action concerns the competing claims as to the right to take possession of the body of Ignacio Arroyo (‘Congressman Arroyo’) to enable it to be buried. Congressman Arroyo was a congressman of the Negros Occidental Province of the Philippines. . .
CitedAnstey v Mundle ChD 2016
When faced with a dispute as to the disposal of a deceased’s body, the role of the court is not to give directions for the disposal of the body but to resolve disagreement about who may make the arrangements . .
CitedCurtis v Sheffield CA 1882
Lord Jessel MR said: ‘Now it is true that it is not the practice of the Court, and was not the practice of the Court of Chancery, to decide as to future rights, but to wait until the event has happened, unless a present right depends on the . .
CitedGillick v West Norfolk and Wisbech Area Health Authority and Department of Health and Social Security HL 17-Oct-1985
Lawfulness of Contraceptive advice for Girls
The claimant had young daughters. She challenged advice given to doctors by the second respondent allowing them to give contraceptive advice to girls under 16, and the right of the first defendant to act upon that advice. She objected that the . .
CitedPublic Trustee v Cooper 2001
The court looked at the circumstances required when a court was asked to approve a proposed exercise by trustees of a discretion vested in them. The second category of circumstances was (quoting Robert Walker J): ‘Where the issue was whether the . .
CitedBurke, Regina (on the Application of) v General Medical Council and others (Official Solicitor and others intervening) CA 28-Jul-2005
The claimant suffered a congenital degenerative brain condition inevitably resulting in a future need to receive nutrition and hydration by artificial means. He was concerned that a decision might be taken by medical practitioners responsible for . .
CitedHartshorne v Gardner ChD 14-Mar-2008
The deceased died in a motor accident, aged 44. The parties, his mother and father, disputed control over his remains, and requested an order from the court.
Held: The court has such an inherent jurisdiction. Since the claimants had an equal . .
AppliedIn re JSB; Chief Executive, Ministry of Social Development v S and B 4-Nov-2009
(New Zealand High Court) The child was alive but severely brain damaged, having been injured by his mother. There was a dispute between his grandparents, who were caring for him, and his birth parents as to the funeral arrangements if he were to . .
CitedTakamore v Clarke and others 18-Dec-2012
Supreme Court of New Zealand – The deceased was Tuhoe, but had spent the last twenty years of his life in Christchurch with his partner, whom he named his executor in his will. After his death his Tuhoe whanau moved his body to the Bay of Plenty and . .
CitedHughes and Others v Bourne and Others ChD 27-Jul-2012
A trust owned a majority shareholding in a family firm. A purchaser wished to buy a substantial interest. Differing sections of the beneficiaries wanted either to sell or not. The trustees sought advance approval for a planned use of their powers to . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Wills and Probate, Children, Health Professions

Leading Case

Updated: 09 November 2021; Ref: scu.571412

Kloosman v Aylen and Others: ChD 8 Mar 2013

The deceased had before his death sold his principle property and made substantial gifts to beneficiaries under his existing will. The parties disputed whether the gifts should be brought into the estate to set off against the gifts made in the will.
Held: On the facts as found the gift was not a portion as now defined, and did not adeem the interest in the will. The deceased had learned that he had bowel cancer and particularly would need care and support from this daughter. His intention was that the gifts would, in part, repay two daughters for what they had already spent taking on his care and in part would help finance the inevitable future costs of the deceased’s care and housing. The lifetime gifts therefore did not have the character of portions and the presumption against double portions did not arise. It was not inappropriate to make provision in the way that he had.

Vivien Rose (Sitting as a Deputy Judge of the Chancery Division)
[2013] EWHC 435 (Ch)
Bailii
Administration of Justice Act 1985
England and Wales
Citing:
AppliedIn re Cameron deceased ChD 1999
The court was asked whether a gift was a ‘portion’ made in order to establish a child in life or make substantial provision for him.
Held: The presumption against double portions arises because it is assumed that a parent only intends to . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Wills and Probate

Leading Case

Updated: 09 November 2021; Ref: scu.471748

Re Benmusa: FD 14 Mar 2017

No Access to will of Princess Margaret

The claimant sought to have unsealed the will of the late Princess Margaret.
Held: The application was struck out: ‘The applicant has not articulated any intelligible basis for her claim. The facts alleged by the applicant neither assert nor identify in any intelligible way either any link with HRH Princess Margaret or any link with her will. The applicant has not identified the grounds or the source or sources of the various beliefs upon which she relies. In short, her application is hopelessly defective.’

Sir James Munby P FD
[2017] EWHC 494 (Fam)
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedBrown v HM Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, the Executors of the Estate of and others FD 5-Jul-2007
The plaintiff sought the unsealing of the wills of the late Queen Mother and of the late Princess Margaret, claiming that these would assist him establishing that he was the illegitimate son of the latter.
Held: The application was frivolous. . .
CitedBrown v Executors of the Estate of HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and others CA 8-Feb-2008
The claimant sought leave to appeal refusal of access to the will of Princess Margaret. He wished to prove that he was her illegitimate son. The will had been subject to an order providing that its contens were not to be published.
Held: . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Wills and Probate

Updated: 09 November 2021; Ref: scu.580988

Williams v Lawrence and Another: ChD 28 Jul 2011

The claimant, as trustee for the deceased’s insolvent estate, sought a declaration that a transfer of the deceased’s share in property made by the executors was void as being at an undervalue. The property was subject to a right of occupation in favour of one of the purchaser, one of the defendants, and therefore reduced in value.
Held: The effect of Regulation 12 was to allow such an application to go back much further than could happen in a normal insolvency, but in this case, at the time of the transfer, the parties knew of the estate’s debts. On the facts, no common intention to create a binding right was established, and therefore the sale was at a gross undervalue, and was to be set aside.

David Cooke J
[2011] EWHC 2001 (Ch)
Bailii
Administration of Insolvent Estates of Deceased Persons Order 1986 (SI 1986/1999)
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedLloyds Bank plc v Rosset HL 29-Mar-1990
The house had been bought during the marriage but in the husband’s sole name. The plaintiff’s charge secured the husband’s overdraft. The bank issued possession proceedings. Mr Rosset had left, but Mrs Rosset claimed, as against the bank an interest . .
CitedPascoe v Turner CA 1-Dec-1978
The defendant had been assured by the plaintiff that ‘the house is yours and everything in it.’ In reliance on that assurance she carried out improvements to the house. Although the improvements were modest, their cost represented a large part of . .
CitedKernott v Jones CA 26-May-2010
The unmarried couple bought a property together. Mr K appealed against an award of 90% of the property to his former partner. The court was asked, whether, following Stack v Dowden, it was open to the court to find that the parties had agreed that . .
CitedJames v Thomas CA 23-Nov-2007
The claimant sought an interest in the property registered in the sole name of the respondent. The respondent had inherited a share in the property, and then bought out the interests of his siblings with support of a loan. The claimant had made no . .
CitedStack v Dowden HL 25-Apr-2007
The parties had cohabited for a long time, in a home bought by Ms Dowden. After the breakdown of the relationship, Mr Stack claimed an equal interest in the second family home, which they had bought in joint names. The House was asked whether, when . .
CitedOxley v Hiscock CA 6-May-2004
The parties were not married, but had brought together their resources to purchase a home in the name of one of them. Nothing had been said about the respective shares on which the property was to be held.
Held: The shares were to be assessed . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Wills and Probate, Insolvency, Trusts

Updated: 09 November 2021; Ref: scu.442271

Jump and Another v Lister and Another: ChD 12 Aug 2016

Omnibus Survivorship Clauses

Wills for two people hade been drafted with survivorship clauses which provided for others according to the order in which they died, but in the event, having died together it had been impossible to say which died first. The parties disputed the effect of an omnibus survivorship clause.
Held: ‘the question is not one as to the meaning of the survivorship clause but rather as to its application. Is it what has been termed an ‘omnibus’ survivorship clause, which applies throughout the will generally, or is its application confined to the secondary gift, which takes effect only if the primary gift to the spouse of the maker of the relevant will fails?’ This was not a case of a mistake in the draughtsmanship.
As to the burden of costs: ‘I am entirely satisfied that in this case the defence has been conducted, through Mr Hewitt, perfectly properly but for the benefit of the defendants themselves (or their professional indemnity insurers). The construction issue has been defended, not for the benefit of the estate, but for the benefit of the solicitors. They have lost; and, in my judgment, costs should follow the event. So I will order the defendants to pay the costs of this Part 8 claim. That is entirely separate from the outcome of any related professional liability claim.’

Hodge QC HHJ
[2016] EWHC 2160 (Ch)
Bailii
Administration of Justice Act 1982 21
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedBoyes v Cook CA 1880
When construing a will, , extrinsic evidence is admissible not only to remove ambiguity in the language used, but to establish the testator’s situation at the time of the will and the context in which he expressed his testamentary intention. James . .
CitedMarley v Rawlings and Another SC 22-Jan-2014
A husband and wife had each executed the will which had been prepared for the other, owing to an oversight on the part of their solicitor; the question which arose was whether the will of the husband, who died after his wife, was valid. The parties . .
CitedSammut and others v Manzi and others PC 4-Dec-2008
(the Bahamas) The court was asked to construe a will.
Lord Phillips said: ‘The starting point when construing any will is to attempt to deduce the intention of the testator by giving the words of the will the meaning that they naturally bear, . .
Not applicableChartbrook Ltd v Persimmon Homes Ltd and Others HL 1-Jul-2009
Mutual Knowledge admissible to construe contract
The parties had entered into a development contract in respect of a site in Wandsworth, under which balancing compensation was to be paid. They disagreed as to its calculation. Persimmon sought rectification to reflect the negotiations.
Held: . .
CitedRe Buckton, Buckton v Buckton ChD 1907
An application was made for the payment of the costs of the action from the deceased’s estate.
Held: Kekewich J identified three situations where an issue might arise about the payment of legal costs out of a fund. First, a trustee may seek . .
CitedReading v Reading ChD 2015
The court was asked to construe a provision in the will.
Held: Ultimately a reference to ‘issue of mine’ was to be read to include the testator’s stepchildren despite initially observing that: ‘The ordinary and natural meaning of the word . .
CitedThe Royal Society v Robinson and Others ChD 17-Nov-2015
Claim to construe a Will or in the alternative to rectify it, or in the further alternative for it to be admitted to probate with certain words omitted.
Held: The court construed a reference to ‘the United Kingdom’ as including the Channel . .
CitedSlattery and Others v Jagger and Others ChD 10-Nov-2015
The court read the words ‘to my wife’ into a specific devise of a property from which they had accidentally been omitted by a process of construction. . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Wills and Probate

Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.570846

Jones and others v Firkin-Flood: ChD 17 Oct 2008

The trustees had contracted to sell shares in a private company held within the estate. A family member now claimed that they were held in trust after a settlement of a possible challenge to the will based in lack of testamentary capacity and undue influence. The trustees requested the court to determine the trusts on which the shares were now held.
Held: The evidence of some family members and others had been variously bitter and unreliable including making baseless allegations of forgery and lying about attempting to pay witnesses for evidence. There had been no agreement to share the estate equally, but the company had since been run in a way which was prejudicial to the minority shareholders.
Since the death, the trustees had failed to take proper control of the company’s activities or to take note that the company had not declared dividends. Though the failure yet to provide accounts was as yet excusable, their other failings were a total abdication of their duties, including the duty to regulate the activities of the minority shareholder exercising control over the company, and preventing self dealing actions by him with company assets. The solicitor and professional trustee had failed, and the failures of the lay trustees stemmed largely from his: ‘the Trustees had by their conduct . . demonstrated their collective and individual unfitness to be Trustees of this trust.’ This was not however a case of dishonesty or deliberate breach. On the other hand the case demonstrated a total breakdown of trust and confidence. One trustee should remain to be joined by new trustees. Though the two proposed trustees should be added provisionally.

Briggs J
[2008] EWHC 2417 (Ch)
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedBartlett v Barclays Bank Trust Co Ltd (Nos 1 and 2) ChD 1980
A claim was made against a trustee for compensation for losses incurred during the administration of the trust.
Held: For a court to order an account by a trustee on the basis of wilful default, and make the defendant liable not only for . .
CitedOceanic Steam Navigation Co v Sutherberry 1880
. .
CitedBeloved Wilkes’ Charity, Re ChD 28-Apr-1851
Trustees are under no general duty to explain the exercise by them of a discretion. . .
CitedRegal (Hastings) Ltd v Gulliver HL 20-Feb-1942
Directors Liability for Actions Ouside the Company
Regal negotiated for the purchase of two cinemas in Hastings. There were five directors on the board, including Mr Gulliver, the chairman. Regal incorporated a subsidiary, Hastings Amalgamated Cinemas Ltd, with a share capital of 5,000 pounds. There . .
CitedHolder v Holder; In re Frank Holder dec CA 8-Dec-1967
The court considered a complaint that a trustee had purchased trust property.
Held: There is a residual discretion in the Court to uphold a transaction that technically falls within the prohibition. . .
CitedATC (Cayman) v Rothschild Trust Cayman Ltd 2007
(Grand Court of the Cayman Islands) The court considered a proposed undertaking by successor trustees to their predecessors not to distribute a proportion of the trust fund for as long as it was required to meet the outgoing trustees’ entitlement to . .
CitedRe Thompson’s Settlement 1985
Company shares were held in trust for the grandchildren of the settlor whose two sons were the trustees who effectively ran the company. The plaintiffs proposed the transfer of trust property to the company. The beneficiaries said that such a . .
CitedRe: Gibson’s Settlement Trusts; Mellor v Gibson 1981
Settlement trustees undertook to execte a deed appointing trust moneys to the settlor’s children. The beneficiaries were not content with the proposed deed, and the trustees sought directions.
Held: The undertaking was invalid as a fetter on . .
CitedHillsdown Holdings plc v Pensions Ombudsman 1997
The court had to answer the question of whether the Pensions Ombudsman could make orders which the court could not.
Held: It could not, Knox J said: ‘there is a real distinction between ordering compensation for inconvenience and distress . .
CitedSwales v Inland Revenue Commissioners 1984
Nicholls J said: ‘It is trite law that trustees cannot fetter the exercise by them at a future date of a discretion possessed by them as trustees.’ . .
CitedPublic Trustee v Cooper 2001
The court looked at the circumstances required when a court was asked to approve a proposed exercise by trustees of a discretion vested in them. The second category of circumstances was (quoting Robert Walker J): ‘Where the issue was whether the . .
CitedRe Hastings-Bass; Hastings v Inland Revenue CA 14-Mar-1974
Trustees of a settlement had exercised their power of advancement under the section, in order to save estate duty by transferring investments to be held on the trusts of a later settlement. However the actual effect of the advancement was that the . .
CitedLetterstedt v Broers PC 22-Mar-1884
(Supreme Court of the Cape of Good Hope) Lack of harmony may be of itself a good reason for a trustee to resign or be dismissed. Lord Blackburn approved a passage in Story’s Equity Jurisprudence, s 1289: ‘But in cases of positive misconduct, courts . .
CitedRe Clore’s Settlement Trusts ChD 1966
A 21 year old beneficiary of a substantial trust fund requested the trustees to apply for his benefit a sum (equal to about one-seventh of the fund) to a family charitable foundation. He would be entitled to the capital of the fund on attaining 30, . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Wills and Probate

Leading Case

Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.277024

Ahluwalia v Singh and Others: ChD 6 Sep 2011

The claimant challenged the validity of the will, saying that it had not been validly attested, the two witnesses not being present at the same time despite the attestation clause saying they had been.
Held: The challenge succeeded. Recognising that the law would require the clearest of evidence to rebut the presumption that a will apparently valid had not been properly attested. Even so, that hurdle had been cleared in this case.

Mark Cawson QC
[2012] WTLR 1, [2011] EWHC 2907 (Ch), [2012] WTLR 1
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedWright v Rogers 1869
The survivor of the attesting witnesses of a will, which was signed by the testator and the witnesses at the foot of an attestation clause, gave evidence a year later that the will was not signed by him in the presence of the testator.
Held: . .
CitedWright v Sanderson 1884
The testator had written a holograph codicil to his will and included an attestation clause. He asked two witnesses to ‘sign this paper’ which they did. Their evidence, given 4 to 5 years later, was that they did not see the attestation clause nor . .
CitedCouwenbergh v Valkova CA 28-Jan-2005
The will was challenged as to its due execution. Statements had been produced that the two witnesses had not been present when the will was signed, but those witnesses now said that they and not signed the statements.
Held: The evidence met . .
CitedChannon and Another v Perkins (A Firm) CA 1-Dec-2005
A will was challenged by the family. The witnesses had said that they did not remember witnessing the deceased sign the will, and would have done. The principle beneficiary appealed refusal of admission to probate of the will.
Held: Neuberger . .
CitedSherrington and Another v Sherrington CA 29-Dec-2006
The deceased had after remarriage made a will which excluded from benefit entirely his first wife and children by her. Claims under the 1975 Act were put to one side while the court decided on the validity of the will, but then dismissed. The court . .
CitedKentfield v Wright ChD 1-Jul-2010
The claimant disputed her mother’s will which left everything to her brother, challenging its execution. She said that the second witness had not been present when the will was signed.
Held: The will stood. Where a will appeared to be properly . .
CitedCouwenbergh v Valkova ChD 16-Oct-2008
Challenge to admission of will to probate.
Held: The presumption of due attestation of a will had not been rebutted. . .

Cited by:
Appeal fromSingh and Others v Ahluwalia CA 11-Dec-2012
The will on its face was validly executed but evidence had established that one witness had not been present. The judge had found the evidence to be sufficient to rebut the strong presumption that the will had been validly executed. Permission to . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Wills and Probate

Leading Case

Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.459699

Hand and Another v George: ChD 17 Mar 2017

Adopted grandchildren entitled to succession

The court was asked whether the adopted children whose adopting father, the son of the testator, were grandchildren of the testator for the purposes of his will.
Held: The claim succeeded. The defendants, the other beneficiaries were not entitled to inherit the part of their father’s estate that derived from the will. The court had to respect the claimants’ Convention right under article 14 in conjunction with article 8 of the Convention not to be discriminated against by the application of a legislative provision which caused the ambiguous reference in the testator’s will to his grandchildren to be construed as excluding them as his adopted grandchildren: ‘to apply the HRA in combination with the wording of the will is not, in my judgment, truly a retrospective application of the HRA. Following the coming into force of the HRA, if the question of whether a beneficiary in the will has children or not arises for consideration, that question must be addressed having regard to the HRA as well as having regard to the wording of the will. Under domestic legislation, the answer is that the adopted children are not included. But that must now be read in a way which is compliant with the rights that adopted children have not to be discriminated against by domestic legislation because of their adopted status.’

Rose J
[2017] EWHC 533 (Ch), [2017] WLR(D) 198, [2017] 3 WLR 559, [2017] 2 FLR 1565, [2017] WTLR 495, [2017] Ch 449
Bailii, WLRD
European Convention of Human Rights 8 14, Adoption of Children Act 1926, Adoption of Children Act 1949, Adoption Act 1976, Adoption and Children Act 2002
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedMarckx v Belgium ECHR 13-Jun-1979
Recognition of illegitimate children
The complaint related to the manner in which parents were required to adopt their own illegitimate child in order to increase his rights. Under Belgian law, no legal bond between an unmarried mother and her child results from the mere fact of birth. . .
CitedLarkos v Cyprus ECHR 18-Feb-1999
The applicant had rented a house from the government, but was ordered to vacate the house following revocation of his tenancy. Because he had been a tenant of the government he was not, under domestic law, entitled to the security which he would . .
CitedMazurek v France ECHR 1-Feb-2000
ECHR Judgment (Merits and just satisfaction) Violation of Art. 14+P1-1; Not necessary to examine Art. 14+8; Pecuniary damage – financial award; Non-pecuniary damage – financial award; Costs and expenses partial . .
CitedWilson v First County Trust (2) CA 2-May-2001
Rules under the Act which precluded a party from any recovery for non-compliance with its provisions were disproportionate, and a denial of the human right of the lender to a fair trial, and a declaration of incompatibility was made. A pawnbroker’s . .
CitedWilson v Secretary of State for Trade and Industry; Wilson v First County Trust Ltd (No 2) HL 10-Jul-2003
The respondent appealed against a finding that the provision which made a loan agreement completely invalid for lack of compliance with the 1974 Act was itself invalid under the Human Rights Act since it deprived the respondent of its property . .
CitedPla and Puncernau v Andorra ECHR 13-Jul-2004
A will made by a widow in 1939, left certain property to her son Francesc-Xavier, as tenant for life, with a stipulation that he was to leave this inheritance to a son or grandson of a lawful and canonical marriage, failing which the estate was to . .
CitedFabris v France [GC] ECHR 7-Feb-2013
ECHR (Grand Chamber) Article 14
Discrimination
Difference in treatment of legitimate and illegitimate children for succession purposes: violation
Facts – The applicant was born in 1943 of a . .
CitedSecretary of State for Social Security v Tunnicliffe CA 1991
Staughton LJ explained the presumption against interpretation of a statute to have retrospective effect: ‘the true principle is that Parliament is presumed not to have intended to alter the law applicable to past events and transactions in a manner . .
CitedIn re McKerr (Northern Ireland) HL 11-Mar-2004
The deceased had been shot by soldiers of the British Army whilst in a car in Northern Ireland. The car was alleged to have ‘run’ a checkpoint. The claimants said the investigation, now 20 years ago, had been inadequate. The claim was brought under . .
CitedHorsham Properties Group Ltd v Clark and Another ChD 8-Oct-2008
The court was asked whether section 101 of the 1925 Act infringes the Convention rights of residential mortgagors by allowing mortgagees to overreach the mortgagor by selling the property out of court, without first obtaining a court order either . .
CitedHorncastle and Others, Regina v SC 9-Dec-2009
Each defendant said they had not received a fair trial in that the court had admitted written evidence of a witness he had not been allowed to challenge. The witnesses had been victims, two of whom had died before trial. It was suggested that the . .
CitedRe Erskine 1948 Trust ChD 29-Mar-2012
The trust was created in 1948, and provided gifts over, which had now failed. The court considered the construction of the term ‘stautory next of kin’. The possible beneficiaries claimed through being adopted, arguing that at the date of the last . .
CitedAbbott v Minister for Lands PC 30-Mar-1895
(From the Supreme Court for New South Wales) When considering what was a ‘vested right’ for the purposes of applying the presumption against retrospectivity of statutes affecting such rights, to convert a mere right existing in the members of the . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Wills and Probate, Adoption, Human Rights

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.581328

Zeital and Another v Kaye and Others: CA 5 Mar 2010

The deceased had held an apartment through beneficial interests in shares in a limited company. He died intestate. The parties disputed the ownership of the two shares. The company had been put into a members’ liquidation, and the company liquidator sought the court’s direction. The widow and deceased had lived seperately for over 20 years, and his more recent partner said that he had informally given the shares to her. The widow and children appealed a finding in favour of the gift in respect of one share, and against the costs order.
Held: The appeal succeeded. The steps taken by the deceased to transfer the share fell short of what was required. He had not been himself registered as owner, and could not execute a share transfer. The company was in liquidation, and no share certificate was handed over. The deceased had not done all he could to transfer the share.

Dyson, Maurice Kay, Rimer LJJ
[2010] EWCA Civ 159
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
MentionedIn re Re Rose, Midland Bank Executor and Trustee Company Limited v Rose ChD 1949
The testator handed a transfer of the relevant shares to the donee, Mr Hook, together with the relevant certificates. The transfer had not been registered by the date of his death.
Held: Equity will not compel an imperfect gift to be . .
MentionedIn re Rose, Rose v Inland Revenue Commissioners CA 1952
The deceased had executed instruments of transfer and delivered them with the relevant certificates to the transferees.
Held: The transfers were transferred the whole of the deceased’s title both legal and equitable in the shares and all . .
CitedPennington and Another v Waine, Crampton and others CA 4-Mar-2002
The deceased had made a gift of shares. She had executed a transfer, and acting upon the promise, the donee had agreed to become a director which he could only do if he also became a shareholder. The transfer was delivered to the deceased’s agent, . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Wills and Probate, Trusts, Company

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.402536

Carr and others v Beaven and others: ChD 29 Oct 2008

The parties contested the validity of a will on the basis of incapacity.
Held: The golden rule was for a solicitor to obtain a doctor’s opinion as to the testator’s capacity, but bemoaning the absence of one is crying over spilled milk. At the time when the testator had made the amendments to his instructions for the second will excluding the children who now applied, the court was satisfied that the testator had capacity. There was clear evidence to that effect, and rational reasons for the choices made.

Floyd J
[2008] EWHC 2582 (Ch)
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedBanks v Goodfellow QBD 1870
Test for Capacity to Execute Will
The testator suffered from delusions, but not so badly or in such a way as was found to affect his capacity or to influence his testamentary disposition. The judge had given the following direction: ‘The question is whether . . the testator was . .
CitedParker and Another v Felgate and Tilly ChD 7-Jul-1883
Capacity to execute Will once instructions given
A will was challenged on the basis of alleged lack of capacity. The testatrix had capacity when instructing her solicitor, but suffered from Bright’s disease which affected her kidney, and she fell into a coma before it was prepared. She was roused . .
CitedScammell and Another v Farmer ChD 22-May-2008
A challenge was made to will for the alleged lack of capacity of the testatrix who was said to have Alzheimers. The executrix was said to have destroyed hidden evidence.
Held: The 2005 Act had restated the law on capacity in Banks, but had . .
CitedCattermole v Prisk 2006
Banks v Goodfellow was the appropriate starting and finishing point for consideration of mental capacity to make a will. . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Wills and Probate

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.277333

Cowderoy v Cranfield: ChD 24 Jun 2011

cowderoy_cranfieldChD2011

The claimant challenged a will alleging lack of capacity, non-approval and undue influence.
Held: Morgan J discussed the standard of proof applicable: ‘The requisite standard is proof on the balance of probabilities but as the allegation of undue influence is a serious one, the evidence required must be sufficiently cogent to persuade the Court that the explanation for what has occurred is that the testator’s will has been overborne by coercion rather than there being some other explanation’

Morgan J
[2011] EWHC 1616 (Ch)
Bailii
Cited by:
Principal judgmentCowderoy v Cranfield ChD 13-Oct-2011
. .
CitedWharton v Bancroft and Others ChD 8-Dec-2011
Mr Wharton anticipated his imminent death. He made a will leaving everything to his long time partner in anticipation of their marriage, married her and died a few days later. The will made no provision for his first wife or their now adult . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Wills and Probate, Undue Influence

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.441216

Cleaver v Mutual Reserve Fund Life Association: CA 1892

The deceased’s executors objected to his widow maintaining action on a trust created by an insurance policy in her favour under the Act. She had been convicted of his murder. The executors’ case was that ‘it is against public policy to allow a criminal to claim any benefit by virtue of his crime.’
Held: The trust for the wife failed, because she had murdered her husband, but that the policy still was an asset of his estate, and the company had to pay the executors.
Fry LJ said: ‘The principle of public policy invoked is in my opinion rightly asserted. It appears to me that no system of jurisprudence can with reason include amongst the rights which it enforces rights directly resulting to the person asserting them from the crime of that person. If no action can arise from fraud it seems impossible to suppose that it can arise from felony or misdemeanour . . This principle of public policy, like all such principles, must be applied to all cases to which it can be applied without reference to the particular character of the right asserted or the form of its assertion.’ and ‘In the construction of Acts of Parliament . . general words which might include cases obnoxious to this principle (of public policy) must be read and construed subject to it.’

Fry LJ
[1892] 1 QB 147, 1891 4 All ER 335, 61 LJQB 128, 65 LT 220
Married Women’s Property Act 1882 11
England and Wales
Cited by:
AppliedDavitt v Titcumb ChD 1989
The defendant bought a house in joint names with the deceased, but was subsequently convicted of her murder. The house was purchased with the assistance of an endowment life policy in their joint names. Whilst he was imprisoned, the policy was used . .
CitedDunbar (As Administrator of Tony Dunbar Deceased) v Plant CA 23-Jul-1997
The couple had decided on a suicide pact. They made repeated attempts, resulting in his death. Property had been held in joint names. The deceased’s father asked the court to apply the 1982 Act to disentitle Miss Plant.
Held: The appeal was . .
CitedTroja v Troja 1994
(New South Wales) The court explained the application of the forfeiture rules in cases involving murder. Historically: ‘In a time of attainder, forfeiture, and common exaction of the death penalty following conviction for murder, the niceties of the . .
CitedJ v S T (Formerly J) CA 21-Nov-1996
The parties had married, but the male partner was a transsexual, having been born female and having undergone treatment for Gender Identity Dysphoria. After IVF treatment, the couple had a child. As the marriage broke down the truth was revealed in . .
CitedBeresford v Royal Insurance Co Ltd HL 1938
The forfeiture rule was to be applied in a case involving suicide. An insured may not recover under a policy of insurance in respect of loss intentionally caused by his own criminal or tortious act, however clearly the wording of the policy may . .
CitedCommissioner of Police for the Metropolis v Reeves (Joint Administratix of The Estate of Martin Lynch, Deceased) HL 11-Feb-1999
The deceased was a prisoner known to be at risk of committing suicide. Whilst in police custody he hanged himself in his prison cell. The Commissioner accepted that he was in breach of his duty of care to the deceased, but not that that breach was . .
CitedSecretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Another v Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council SC 6-Apr-2011
The land-owner had planning permission to erect a barn, conditional on its use for agricultural purposes. He built inside it a house and lived there from 2002. In 2006. He then applied for a certificate of lawful use. The inspector allowed it, and . .
CitedChallen v Challen and Another ChD 27-May-2020
Forfeiture rule disapplied after spousal abuse
The claimant sought the disapplication of the forfeiture rule. She had been convicted of the manslaughter of her seriously abusive husband. The court considered whether a conviction for murder set aside and replaced with one of manslaughter was a . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Insurance, Wills and Probate

Leading Case

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.185187

Nield-Moir v Freeman: ChD 21 Feb 2018

Valid requirement for DNA test in estate claim

The Court now ruled on the human rights implications of an order for DNA testing to establish whether the claimant was indeed the daughter of the deceased.
Held: The inherent jurisdiction of the court extends to directing that a party to proceedings give a saliva sample by way of mouth swab for the purposes of establishing paternity in a case where paternity is in issue.

Paul Matthews HHJ
[2018] EWHC 299 (Ch), [2018] WLR(D) 109
Bailii, WLRD
England and Wales

Wills and Probate, Family, Human Rights

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.605342

Walters 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 testators, but the claimant’s argument for insufficency in this case was ill conceived and the appeal failed.

Mummery LJ, Dyson LJ, Maurice Kay LJ
[2008] EWCA Civ 782, [2009] Ch 212, [2009] 2 WLR 1, [2008] WTLR 1449
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedGoodchild v Goodchild ChD 13-Dec-1995
The husband and wife had made mirror wills. They divorced, and the husband made a new will. After his death, the child and the third wife of the deceased made a claim against the second wife.
Held: The wills were in identical terms, but . .
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 . .
CitedRe Oldham; Hadwen v Myles 1925
The court was asked whether an agreement for mutual wills should be inferred. The court said that it is inherently improbable that a testator should be prepared to give up the possibility of changing his or her will in the future, whatever the . .
CitedBirch v Curtis ChD 2002
The court held in favour of a mutual will made by the deceased husband with his second wife, to the detriment of the children of the husband’s previous wife, so disinheriting those children from their mother’s assets and indeed the husband’s own . .
CitedBirmingham v Renfrew 11-Jun-1937
(High Court of Australia) Cases of mutual wills are only one example of a wider category of cases, for example secret trusts, in which a court of equity will intervene to impose a constructive trust. Latham CJ described a mutual will arrangement as . .
CitedIn 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 . .
CitedIn re Cleaver dec’d, Cleaver v Insley ChD 1981
Cases of mutual wills are only one example of a wider category of cases, for example secret trusts, in which a court of equity will intervene to impose a constructive trust.
Nourse J said: ‘The principle of all these cases is that a court of . .
CitedCooke v New River Co CA 1888
Bowen LJ said that judgments should be given on points that the judge is bound to decide. Deciding more than is necessary could, ‘like the proverbial chickens of destiny’, come home to roost sooner or later. . .
Appeal fromOlins v Walters ChD 19-Dec-2007
A claim was made for the proof of a will and of a codicil as a mutual will.
Norris J said of one witness: ‘I have a deep sense that her evidence is not based upon a real recollection of two brief incidents (putting her signature on a document . .

Cited by:
CitedFry v Densham-Smith CA 10-Dec-2010
The parties disputed whether wills made were mutual.
Held: The Court upheld the finding of the judge at first instance that there was an oral agreement between two testators (Denny and Laura, each with a son from a previous marriage, Martin . .
CitedLegg and Another v Burton and Others ChD 11-Aug-2017
Testing for Mutual Wills
The parties disputed whether wills were mutual. The claimants challenged the probate granted to a later will of their deceased mother, saying that her earlier will had been mutual and irrevocable after the death of their father.
Held: The . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Wills and Probate

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.270583

Marsh v Tyrrell: 1828

Revocation of Earlier Will needs Knowleedge

The testatrix was found to have made a new Will, at a time when her faculties were much impaired, under the undue influence of her husband, who under that Will took her estate absolutely subject only to some small legacies, whereas under the previous Will of the testatrix the principal objects of her bounty were quite different.
Held: To successfully revoke a former will by a new Will it was necessary to prove that the testatrix recollected the general contents of the previous Will.

Sir John Nicholl
(1828) 2 Hagg Ecc 84
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedHoff and others v Atherton CA 19-Nov-2004
Appeals were made against pronouncements for the validity of a will and against the validity of an earlier will. The solicitor drawing the will was to receive a benefit, and had requested an independent solicitor to see the testatrix and ensure that . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Wills and Probate, Undue Influence

Leading Case

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.219626

Myers v Myers and Orhers: FD 3 Aug 2004

The court ordered, from a very large estate, provision which included housing, but he did so by way not of an outright capital sum but of a life interest in a trust fund together with power of advancement designed to cater for the possibility of care expenses in advanced old age. If housing is provided by way of maintenance, it is likely more often to be provided by such a life interest rather than by a capital sum.

Munvy J
[2005] WTLR 851, [2004] EWHC 1944 (Fam)
Bailii
Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedIlott v The Blue Cross and Others SC 15-Mar-2017
What is reasonable provision for daughter
The deceased had left her estate in her will to several animal charities. The claimant, her daughter, had been estranged from her mother for many years, and sought reasonable provision from her estate under the 1975 Act. The district judge had . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Family, Wills and Probate

Leading Case

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.581090

Pitt and Another v Holt and Others: ChD 18 Jan 2010

The deceased had created a settlement in favour of his wife. He suffered serious injury and placed the damages in trust, but in a form which created an unnecessary liability to Inheritance Tax on his death. The wife’s mental health act receiver now sought the unravelling of the trust based on either Hastings Bass or mistake.
Held: The rule in Hastings-Bass could be used by others than only trustees. Robert Englehart QC said: ‘A mere failure by someone to take a material consideration into account in the conduct of his own affairs will not justify setting aside for mistake. It was said in argument before me that the law allows you to be as foolish as you like with your own property. On the other hand, there certainly is jurisdiction, irrespective of any trust or fiduciary element, to set aside a voluntary transaction where there has been an operative mistake. Nevertheless, for the rule in Hastings-Bass to apply there is no need to identify a mistake as such, as opposed to a failure to take a relevant consideration into account.’ though there was no real mistake, only a failure to address the effect of the arrangement fully, the rule in Hastings-Bass could be applied and the trust varied.

Robert Englehart, QC
[2010] EWHC 236 (Ch)
Bailii, Times
Mental Health Act 1983
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedSieff v Fox ChD 23-Jun-2005
The advisers to trustees wrongly advised the trustees about the tax consequences of exercising a power of appointment in a certain way. As a result a large unforeseen Capital Gains Tax liability arose. The trustees sought to set aside the . .
CitedRe Hastings-Bass; Hastings v Inland Revenue CA 14-Mar-1974
Trustees of a settlement had exercised their power of advancement under the section, in order to save estate duty by transferring investments to be held on the trusts of a later settlement. However the actual effect of the advancement was that the . .
CitedMettoy Pension Trustees v Evans ChD 1990
Where a trustee acts under a discretion given to him by the terms of the trust the court will interfere with his action if it is clear that he would not have so acted as he did had he not failed to take into account considerations which he ought to . .
CitedByng v London Life Association CA 1990
The venue selected for a meeting of the members of a company was too small to accommodate all the members who attended, and so the chairman adjourned the meeting to an alternative venue.
Held: The decision by the chairman was set aside on the . .
CitedGibbon v Mitchell ChD 1990
G executed a deed surrendering his life interest in a trust fund in order to vest the property in his two children: the deed did not have that effect because of two errors (one of which was ignoring the fact that his life interest was subject to . .
CitedHunter v Senate Support Services Ltd and others ChD 2005
The court set aside a forfeiture of shares for non-payment of a call. The decisions of the directors to forfeit the shares and to transfer the forfeited shares to the group holding company were flawed, though not improperly motivated, because the . .
CitedEdge and others v Pensions Ombudsman and Another CA 29-Jul-1999
The Pensions Ombudsman was wrong to set aside the decision of pensions trustees where that decision was properly made within the scope of a discretion given to the Trustees. He should not carry out an investigation where no particular benefit could . .
CitedEquitable Life Assurance Society v Hyman HL 20-Jul-2000
The directors of the Society had calculated the final bonuses to be allocated to policyholders in a manner which was found to be contrary to the terms of the policy. The language of the article conferring the power to declare such bonuses contained . .
CitedAnker-Petersen v Christensen ChD 2002
Where a mistake is made as to the effect of an appointment under a trust it may be possible to invoke the court’s jurisdiction to rescind the appointment. Davis J considered Millett J’s distinction between ‘effect’ and ‘consequences’: ‘An example in . .
CitedOgden and Another v Trustees of the RHS Griffiths 2003 Settlement and others; In Re Griffiths deceased ChD 25-Jan-2008
A life-time transfer which had been made under a mistake as to the donor’s chances of surviving long enough for the transfer to be exempt from Inheritance Tax was set aside. Unbeknown to the donor, he had lung cancer at the time.
Held: Lewison . .
CitedWolff v Wolff ChD 6-Sep-2004
The court considered its ability to redraw a document where its legal effect was misunderstood. . .
CitedAbacus Trust Company (Isle of Man) Colyb Limited v Barr, Barr, and Barr ChD 6-Feb-2003
The court considered the Rule in Hastings-Bass, and specifically (1) whether the trustee’s decision is open to challenge when the failure to take a consideration into account is not attributable to a breach of fiduciary duty on the part of the . .
CitedOgilvie v Littleboy CA 1897
Lindley LJ discussed the variation of a gift for mistake: ‘Gifts cannot be revoked, nor can deeds be set aside, simply because the donors wish they had not made them and would like to have back the property given. Where there is no fraud, no undue . .
CitedBurrell and Sharman v Burrell, Shore, Tyrrell, etc ChD 23-Feb-2005
burrell_burrellChD05
Shares were appointed by trustees in the mistaken belief that they attracted business property relief from Inheritance tax. They sought to set aside the appointment.
Held: Mann J applied the rule in Stannard v Fisons Pensions Trust and . .

Cited by:
CitedFutter and Another v Futter and Others ChD 11-Mar-2010
Various family settlements had been created. The trustees wished to use the rule in Hastings-Bass to re-open decisions they had made after receiving incorrect advice.
Held: The deeds were set aside as void. The Rule in Hastings-Bass derives . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Trusts, Wills and Probate, Inheritance Tax

Leading Case

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.396742

Dobson and Dobson v North Tyneside Health Authority and Newcastle Health Authority: CA 26 Jun 1996

A post mortem had been carried out by the defendants. The claimants, her grandmother and child sought damages after it was discovered that not all body parts had been returned for burial, some being retained instead for medical research. They now appealed an order striking out their claim on the baiss that it disclosed no reasonable cause of damage.
Held: The appeal failed. Next of kin have no right to regain possession of a deceased’s body part which had been removed for autopsy. There was no ownership of a body after death. The autopsy process did not transform a body part into an object capable of ownership. The claim was pleaded in conversion, bailment and wrongful interference with the brain, and the plaintiffs could not establish that they had the right to possession at the time the brain was disposed of. The plaintiff’s desire to discover exactly what had happened to all the body parts was not a sufficient reason for litigation.
Where there is no executor the duty to take possession of and dispose of the body of the deceased falls upon the administrators of the estate, but they may not be able to obtain an injunction for delivery of the body before the grant of letters of administration

Peter Gibson LJ, Butler-Sloss LJ, Peter Gibson LJ
Times 15-Jul-1996, Gazette 29-Aug-1996, [1997] 1 WLR 596, [1996] EWCA Civ 1301, (1997) 33 BMLR 146, [1997] 1 FLR 598, [1997] 8 Med LR 357, [1996] 4 All ER 474, [1997] Fam Law 326, [1997] 2 FCR 651
Bailii
Coroners Rules 1984 (1984 No 552)
England and Wales
Citing:
ConsideredDoodeward v Spence 1908
(High Court of Australia) The police seized from an exhibitor the body of a two headed still born baby which had been preserved in a bottle.
Held: An order was made for its return: ‘If, then, there can, under some circumstances, be a continued . .
CitedArmory v Delamirie KBD 1722
A jeweller to whom a chimney sweep had taken a jewel he had found, took the jewel out of the socket and refused to return it. The chimney sweep sued him in trover. On the measure of damages, the court ruled ‘unless the defendant did produce the . .
CitedNorwich Pharmacal Co and others v Customs and Excise Commissioners HL 26-Jun-1973
Innocent third Party May still have duty to assist
The plaintiffs sought discovery from the defendants of documents received by them innocently in the exercise of their statutory functions. They sought to identify people who had been importing drugs unlawfully manufactured in breach of their . .
CitedWilliams v Williams 1882
By codicil to his will the deceased directed that his executors should give his body to Miss Williams; and by letter he requested her to cremate his body under a pile of wood, to place the ashes into a specified Wedgwood vase and to claim her . .
CitedClarke v London General Omnibus Co Ltd 1906
The parent of an infant child who dies where the parent has the means to do so, has a responsibility to arrange and pay for the burial. . .
CitedSharp v Lush 1879
An executor appointed by will is entitled to obtain possession of the body for its proper disposal. . .
CitedRees v Hughes 1946
The need to arrange for funerals is a common law obligation ‘in the nature of a public duty’. . .

Cited by:
CitedAB and others v Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust, Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust QBD 26-Mar-2004
Representative claims were made against the respondents, hospitals, pathologists etc with regard to the removal of organs from deceased children without the informed consent of the parents. They claimed under the tort of wrongful interference.
CitedYearworth and others v North Bristol NHS Trust CA 4-Feb-2009
The defendant hospital had custody of sperm samples given by the claimants in the course of fertility treatment. The samples were effectively destroyed when the fridge malfunctioned. Each claimant was undergoing chemotherapy which would prevent them . .
CitedBuchanan v Milton FD 27-May-1999
The applicant sought to displace, solely for burial purposes, as personal representative a person who was otherwise entitled to a grant.
Held: Hale J said: ‘There is no right of ownership in a dead body. However, there is a duty at common law . .
CitedAnstey v Mundle and Another ChD 25-Feb-2016
The deceased had been born in Jamaica, but had lived in the UK for many years. The parties, before a grant in the estate of the deceased, disputed whether he should be buried in England or returned to Jamaica for burial.
Held: Having . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Wills and Probate, Damages

Leading Case

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.80077

Re Buckton, Buckton v Buckton: ChD 1907

An application was made for the payment of the costs of the action from the deceased’s estate.
Held: Kekewich J identified three situations where an issue might arise about the payment of legal costs out of a fund. First, a trustee may seek guidance from the Court in order to ascertain the interests of the beneficiaries: and see Rules of the Supreme Court 1971, O 66 r 9. Second, beneficiaries may apply to the court by reason of some difficulty of construction or administration that would have justified an application by the trustee, but where it was not convenient for the trustee to apply. In both of those situations, the costs of all parties can be characterised as necessarily incurred for the benefit of the estate. Provided the application was not, in substance, unreasonable, the court might direct costs to be taxed as between solicitor and client and paid out of the estate. Mr Justice Kekewich recorded that: ‘In a large proportion of the summonses adjourned into court for argument the applicants are trustees of a will or settlement who ask the court to construe the instrument of trust for their guidance and in order to ascertain the interests of the beneficiaries or else ask to have some question determined which has arisen in the administration of the trusts. ‘ In such cases the costs of all parties are necessarily incurred for the benefit of the estate and the court directed them to be taxed as between solicitor and client and paid out of the estate.

Kekewich J
[1907] 2 Ch 406
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedJump and Another v Lister and Another ChD 12-Aug-2016
Omnibus Survivorship Clauses
Wills for two people hade been drafted with survivorship clauses which provided for others according to the order in which they died, but in the event, having died together it had been impossible to say which died first. The parties disputed the . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Wills and Probate, Costs

Leading Case

Updated: 31 October 2021; Ref: scu.570852

Ilott v The Blue Cross and Others: SC 15 Mar 2017

What is reasonable provision for daughter

The deceased had left her estate in her will to several animal charities. The claimant, her daughter, had been estranged from her mother for many years, and sought reasonable provision from her estate under the 1975 Act. The district judge had rejected her claim.
Held: The appeal by the charities succeeded. The District Judge had not made the two errors suggested by the Court of Appeal. ‘The Act requires a single assessment by the judge of what reasonable financial provision should be made in all the circumstances of the case. It does not require the judge to fix some hypothetical standard of reasonable provision and then either add to it, or discount from it, by percentage points or otherwise, for variable factors. To the contrary, the section 3 factors, which are themselves all variables and which are likely often to be in tension one with another, are all to be considered so far as they are relevant, and in the light of them a single assessment of reasonable financial provision is to be made. There is no warrant in the Act for requiring a process of the kind suggested by the Court of Appeal. If the judge were to arrive at a figure for reasonable financial provision without one or more of the relevant facts in the case, he would not be undertaking the assessment required by the Act.’
The second alleged error was a suggested failure by the DJ to allow for the effect of the order on the state benefits received by the claimant. However the sums upon which he based his award of 50,000 pounds. In fact the judge, though he may have: ‘interpreted the statutory requirement for the award to be for maintenance as pointing to such an approach, these items which Mrs Ilott needed to make the household function properly can perfectly sensibly fit within the concept of maintenance. The Court of Appeal rightly said that the 1975 Act is not designed to provide for a claimant to be gifted a ‘spending spree’. But this kind of necessary replacement of essential household items is not such an indulgence; rather it is the maintenance of daily living. Moreover, how the claimant might use the award of andpound;50,000 was of course up to her, but if a substantial part of it were spent in this way, the impact on the family’s benefits would be minimised, because she could put the household onto a much sounder footing without for long retaining capital beyond the 16,000 pounds ceiling at which entitlement to Housing and Council Tax Benefits is lost.’

Lord Neuberger, President, Lady Hale, Deputy President, Lord Kerr, Lord Clarke, Lord Wilson, Lord Sumption, Lord Hughes
[2017] UKSC 17, 2017] WLR(D) 185, UKSC 2015/0203
Bailii, Bailii Summary, WLRD, SC, SC Summary, SC Video Summar, SC 12 Dec am, SC 12 Dec pm
Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, Inheritance (Family Provision) Act 1938
England and Wales
Citing:
Appeal fromIlott v Mitson and Others CA 27-Jul-2015
The claimant was the adult and long estranged daughter of her now deceased mother. The mother’s will left the estate entirely to animal charities. The daughter sought reasonable provision under the 1975 Act.
Held: The claimant’s appeal . .
At First InstanceIlott v Mitson and Others FD 3-Mar-2014
The claimant sought to appeal against a decision on quantum made under the 1975 Act. The court had awarded her andpound;50k in capital by way of maintenance from her mother’s estate, where the mother had left the estate to animal charities. She had . .
CitedIn re Coventry dec’d ChD 2-Jan-1979
The court set out the general approach to applications under the 1975 Act: ‘these matters have to be considered at two stages – first in determining the reasonableness of such provision (if any) as has been made by the deceased for the applicant’s . .
CitedIn Re Coventry (deceased) CA 3-Jan-1979
The deceased’s adult son sought provision from the intestate estate. The sole beneficiary under the rules was the plaintiff’s mother. The estate was modest; the intestate’s interest in his house (he had been living there with the plaintiff). The . .
CitedIn re Dennis (Deceased) 1981
The now deceased father had made lifetime gifts to the son. The son now faced substantial liabilities for capital transfer tax, and asked the court to provide for his from the estate under the 1975 Act.
Held: The claim failed. The payment of . .
CitedLadd v Marshall CA 29-Nov-1954
Conditions for new evidence on appeal
At the trial, the wife of the appellant’s opponent said she had forgotten certain events. After the trial she began divorce proceedings, and informed the appellant that she now remembered. He sought either to appeal admitting fresh evidence, or for . .
CitedHarlow v National Westminster Bank Plc and Others; in re Jennings Dec CA 13-Dec-1993
The adult non-dependent son of the deceased claimed provision from his father’s estate. He had been separated from his father since being a young child, and had received almost nothing. He was a married adult son living with his family in . .
First AppealIlott v Mitson and Others CA 31-Mar-2011
The claimant, the estranged adult daughter of the deceased, had claimed under the 1975 Act. The judge made an order for payment of andpound;50,000 by way of capitalisation of maintenance. The claimant appealed saying she should have received more, . .
CitedHyman v Hyman HL 1929
The husband had left the wife for another woman. The parties had entered into a deed of separation under which the husband had paid two lump sums and agreed to make weekly payments of 20 pounds for the life of the wife. The deed included a covenant . .
CitedIn re E, deceased 1966
Possible receipt by a family member in receipt of state support greater than the testator could sensibly provide may be an understandable reason why it was reasonable for the deceased not to make financial provision for that family member. The . .
CitedGurasz v Gurasz CA 1970
Lord Denning MR described ‘the husband’s duty to provide his wife with a roof over her head’ as ‘elemental in our society’ . .
CitedLord Lilford v Glyn CA 1979
The judge had ordered the father to make money settlements on his daughters which had no relation to accommodation or their need during minority.
Held: The judge had gone quite ouside the jurisdiction of the Act, and the appeal succeeded. . .
CitedCameron v Treasury Solicitor 1996
The claimant was the former wife of the deceased. She had been divorced from him 19 years before his death and their matrimonial finances had been settled by a lump sum paid to her as a clean break. There had been no financial relationship between . .
CitedSnapes v Aram; Wade etc, In re Hancocks (Deceased) CA 1-May-1998
The adult daughter of the deceased claimed under the 1975 Act. The deceased had acted entirely reasonably in leaving his business land to those of his children who were active in the business, but after his death part of the land acquired a . .
CitedPiglowska v Piglowski HL 24-Jun-1999
When looking to the needs of parties in a divorce, there is no presumption that both parties are to be left able to purchase alternative homes. The order of sub-clauses in the Act implies nothing as to their relative importance. Courts should be . .
CitedMyers v Myers and Orhers FD 3-Aug-2004
The court ordered, from a very large estate, provision which included housing, but he did so by way not of an outright capital sum but of a life interest in a trust fund together with power of advancement designed to cater for the possibility of . .
CitedHope and Another v Knight ChD 15-Dec-2010
The separated widow and the deceased’s daughter sought reasonable provision from the estate. . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Wills and Probate

Updated: 31 October 2021; Ref: scu.580731

Creasey and Another v Sole and Others: ChD 24 May 2013

The parties, brothers and sisters, disputed ownership of lands to be inherited from the estates of their parents, and whether parts of the farm purchased in several lots under different ownerships descended as part of the farm.

Morgan J
[2013] EWHC 1410 (Ch)
Bailii
Citing:
CitedMassy v Rogers 1883
. .
CitedRe Tuck’s Settlement Trusts CA 1-Nov-1977
By his will, Sir Adolph Tuck sought to ensure that his successors should be Jewish, and stated that the arbitrators of this must be the Chief Rabbi of his community. . .
CitedIn re Raven; Spencer v National Association for the Prevention of Consumption and Tuberculosis 1915
Extrinsic evidence of the identity of a beneficiary can only be admitted where there is a description applying indifferently to more than one person or society. It was contrary to public policy to accept wording in a will which purported to oust the . .
CitedRe Wynn (deceased) 1952
A provision in a will which purported to make the decision of the trustees final on any matter in dispute between them and the beneficiaries was a provision calculated to oust the jurisdiction of the court and so was void as being contrary to public . .
CitedBetteridge v The United Kingdom ECHR 29-Jan-2013
The applicant prisoner complained of a delay in his release pending a review by the Parole Board.
Held: The violation of article 5(4) resulted from a delay in the holding of a review by the Board following the expiry of an IPP prisoner’s . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Wills and Probate

Updated: 31 October 2021; Ref: scu.510081

Ram and Another v Chauhan and Another: Misc 19 Jul 2017

Leeds County Court – Challenge to validity of will – witnesses not present – lack of capacity – undue influence
Saffmann HHJ
[2017] EW Misc 12 (CC)
Bailii
Wills Act 1837 9
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedBanks v Goodfellow QBD 1870
Test for Capacity to Execute Will
The testator suffered from delusions, but not so badly or in such a way as was found to affect his capacity or to influence his testamentary disposition. The judge had given the following direction: ‘The question is whether . . the testator was . .
CitedKey and Another v Key and Others ChD 5-Mar-2010
The will was challenged for want of testamentary capacity. The testator was 89 years old, and the will was made within a week of the death of his wife of 65 years and without the solicitor having taken any proper steps to satisfy himself as to the . .
CitedParker and Another v Felgate and Tilly ChD 7-Jul-1883
Capacity to execute Will once instructions given
A will was challenged on the basis of alleged lack of capacity. The testatrix had capacity when instructing her solicitor, but suffered from Bright’s disease which affected her kidney, and she fell into a coma before it was prepared. She was roused . .
CitedRe Loxston, Abbot v Richardson ChD 2006
Mr N Strauss QC said: ‘The question is always whether the testator had the necessary capacity at the time the Will was executed, and that may depend upon the efforts made by others to enable her to have in mind all the relevant considerations . .
CitedEdwards v Edwards and others ChD 3-May-2007
Family members challenged the will saying that one son had exercised undue influence over the testatrix.
Held: The beneficiary son had poisoned his mother’s mind against the other family members. The will would be set aside for his undue . .
CitedPerrins v Holland and Others; In re Perrins, deceased CA 21-Jul-2010
The testator had given instructions for his will and received a draft will. The judge had found that he had capacity to make the will when he gave instructions but not when it was executed. The will having been made in accordance with his . .
CitedHawes v Burgess and Another CA 19-Feb-2013
The appellant challenged pronouncement against the validity of wills on the ground of lack of testamentary capacity and want of knowledge and approval.
Mummery LJ said: ‘Although talk of presumptions and their rebuttal is not regarded as . .
CitedSimon v Byford and Others CA 13-Mar-2014
The court was asked whether the testatrix (a) had testamentary capacity and (b) knew and approved the contents of her will when she executed it at or immediately after her 88th birthday party. The judge had answered both those questions in the . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 16 October 2021; Ref: scu.590780

Battan Singh v Amirchand: PC 1948

(Supreme Court of Fiji) The will was declared invalid because the testator had lacked testamentary capacity, although the judge had rejected the allegation that the will was invalid for want of knowledge and approval.
Held: Lord Normand discussed and approved the implication of Parker v Felgate: ‘That case decided that if a testator has given instructions to a solicitor at a time when he was able to appreciate what he was doing in all its relevant bearings, and if the solicitor prepares the will in accordance with these instructions, the will will stand good, though at the time of execution the testator is capable only of understanding that he is executing the will which he has instructed, but is no longer capable of understanding the instructions themselves or the clauses in the will which give effect to them.’ and ‘A testator may have a clear apprehension of the meaning of the draft will submitted to him and may approve it, and yet if he was at the time through infirmity or disease so deficient in memory that he was oblivious of the claims of his relations, and if that forgetfulness is an inducing cause of his choosing strangers to be his legatees, the will is invalid.’
Lord Normand
[1948] AC 161
Citing:
ApprovedParker and Another v Felgate and Tilly ChD 7-Jul-1883
Capacity to execute Will once instructions given
A will was challenged on the basis of alleged lack of capacity. The testatrix had capacity when instructing her solicitor, but suffered from Bright’s disease which affected her kidney, and she fell into a coma before it was prepared. She was roused . .

Cited by:
CitedPerrins v Holland and Another ChD 31-Jul-2009
The son of the deceased challenged the testamentary capacity of the testator and further claimed under the 1975 Act. The deceased was disabled and had substantial difficulty communicating.
Held: The will was validly made. Logically it is . .
CitedPerrins v Holland and Others; In re Perrins, deceased CA 21-Jul-2010
The testator had given instructions for his will and received a draft will. The judge had found that he had capacity to make the will when he gave instructions but not when it was executed. The will having been made in accordance with his . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 16 October 2021; Ref: scu.374721

Francis Hoff and others v Mary Atherton: ChD 2004

A challenge to testamentary capacity falls within the second exception in Spiers v English and not the first.
Nicholas Warren QC
[2004] EWHC 2007 (Ch)
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedRe Cutliffe’s Estate CA 1958
In attacking the will, the unsuccessful defendants had pleaded undue influence as well as lack of due execution and want of knowledge and approval, but their evidence had been disbelieved. They complained that in awarding costs against them the . .

Cited by:
Appeal fromHoff and others v Atherton CA 19-Nov-2004
Appeals were made against pronouncements for the validity of a will and against the validity of an earlier will. The solicitor drawing the will was to receive a benefit, and had requested an independent solicitor to see the testatrix and ensure that . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 08 October 2021; Ref: scu.263528

In re Parkard: 1920

[1920] 1 Ch 596
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedHayward v Jackson ChD 18-Feb-2003
The claimant had been given an option in the will to purchase land from the estate, but the price was not fixed before it expired. The executors asserted that the option had lapsed.
Held: In this case there was no explicit gift over in the . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 05 September 2021; Ref: scu.179723

Letterstedt v Broers: PC 22 Mar 1884

(Supreme Court of the Cape of Good Hope) Lack of harmony may be of itself a good reason for a trustee to resign or be dismissed. Lord Blackburn approved a passage in Story’s Equity Jurisprudence, s 1289: ‘But in cases of positive misconduct, courts of equity have no difficulty in interposing to remove trustees who have abused their trust; it is not indeed every mistake or neglect of duty, or inaccuracy of conduct of trustees, which will induce courts of equity to adopt such a course. But the acts or omissions must be such as to endanger the trust property or to shew a want of honesty, or a want of proper capacity to execute the duties, or a want of reasonable fidelity.’
. . and ‘It seems to their Lordships that the jurisdiction which a court of equity has no difficulty in exercising under the circumstances indicated by Story is merely ancillary to its principal duty, to see that the trusts are properly executed. This duty is constantly being performed by the substitution of new trustees in the place of original trustees for a variety of reasons in non-contentious cases. And therefore, though it should appear that the charges of misconduct were either not made out, or were greatly exaggerated, so that the trustee was justified in resisting them, and the court might consider that in awarding costs, yet if satisfied that the continuance of the trustee would prevent the trusts being properly executed, the trustee might be removed. It must always be borne in mind that trustees exist for the benefit of those to whom the creator of the trust has given the trust estate.’
The court set out the principles underlying a decision to remove a trustee. Lord Blackburn said: ‘The whole of the matters which have been complained of, and the whole that, if this judgment stands, may yet have to be done by the Board, are matters which they had to do, as having accepted the burthen of carrying out the trusts which on the true construction of the will were imposed upon them, and so become trustees. What they had to do as executors merely, such as paying debts, collecting assets, andc., have long ago been over, and by the terms of the compromise the plaintiff cannot now say they have not been done properly. There may be some peculiarity in the Dutch Colonial law, which made it proper to make the prayer in the way in which it was done to remove them from the office of executor; if so, it has not been brought to their Lordships’ notice; the whole case has been argued here, and, as far as their Lordships can perceive, in the Court below, as depending on the principles which should guide an English Court of Equity when called upon to remove old trustees and substitute new ones. It is not disputed that there is a jurisdiction ‘in cases requiring such a remedy,’ as is said in Story’s Equity Jurisprudence, s. 1287, but there is very little to be found to guide us in saying what are the cases requiring such a remedy; so little that their Lordships are compelled to have recourse to general principles.
Story says, s. 1289, ‘But in cases of positive misconduct, Courts of Equity have no difficulty in interposing to remove trustees who have abused their trust; it is not indeed every mistake or neglect of duty, or inaccuracy of conduct of trustees, which will induce Courts of Equity to adopt such a course. But the acts or omissions must be such as to endanger the trust property or to shew a want of honesty, or a want of proper capacity to execute the duties, or a want of reasonable fidelity’
It seems to their Lordships that the jurisdiction which a Court of Equity has no difficulty in exercising under the circumstances indicated by Story is merely ancillary to its principal duty, to see that the trusts are properly executed. This duty is constantly being performed by the substitution of new trustees in the place of original trustees for a variety of reasons in non-contentious cases. And therefore, though it should appear that the charges of misconduct were either not made out, or were greatly exaggerated, so that the trustee was justified in resisting them, and the Court might consider that in awarding costs, yet if satisfied that the continuance of the trustee would prevent the trusts being properly executed, the trustee might be removed. It must always be borne in mind that trustees exist for the benefit of those to whom the creator of the trust has given the trust estate. The reason why there is so little to be found in the books on this subject is probably that suggested by Mr. Davey in his argument. As soon as all questions of character are as far settled as the nature of the case admits, if it appears clear that the continuance of the trustee would be detrimental to the execution of the trusts, even if for no other reason than that human infirmity would prevent those beneficially interested, or those who act for them, from working in harmony with the trustee, and if there is no reason to the contrary from the intentions of the framer of the trust to give this trustee a benefit or otherwise, the trustee is always advised by his own counsel to resign, and does so. If, without any reasonable ground, he refused to do so, it seems to their Lordships that the Court might think it proper to remove him; but cases involving the necessity of deciding this, if they ever arise, do so without getting reported. It is to be lamented that the case was not considered in this light by the parties in the Court below, for, as far as their Lordships can see, the Board would have little or no profit from continuing to be trustees, and as such coming into continual conflict with the appellant and her legal advisers, and would probably have been glad to resign, and get out of an onerous and disagreeable position. But the case was not so treated.
In exercising so delicate a jurisdiction as that of removing trustees, their Lordships do not venture to lay down any general rule beyond the very broad principle above enunciated, that their main guide must be the welfare of the beneficiaries.’ He referred to cases in which there was a conflict between trustee and beneficiary and continued: ‘As soon as all questions of character are as far settled as the nature of the case admits, if it appears clear that the continuance of the trustee would be detrimental to the execution of the trusts, even if for no other reason than that human infirmity would prevent those beneficially interested, or those who act for them, from working in harmony with the trustee, and if there is no reason to the contrary from the intentions of the framer of the trust to give this trustee a benefit or otherwise, the trustee is always advised by his own counsel to resign, and does so. If, without any reasonable ground, he refused to do so, it seems to their Lordships that the Court might think it proper to remove him; but cases involving the necessity of deciding this, if they ever arise, do so without getting reported.’
However: ‘It is quite true that friction or hostility between trustees and the immediate possessor of the trust estate is not of itself a reason for the removal of the trustees. But where the hostility is grounded on the mode in which the trust has been administered, where it has been caused wholly or partially by substantial overcharges against the trust estate, it is certainly not to be disregarded.’
Lord Blackburn
[1884] UKPC 1, (1884) 9 App Cas 371, [1884] UKPC 18, [1884] UKLawRpAC 12
Bailii, Bailii, Commonlii
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedCharman v Charman CA 20-Dec-2005
The court considered orders to third parties abroad to produce docments for use in ancillary relief proceedings. The husband had built up considerable assets within an offshore discretionary trust. The court was asked whether these were family . .
CitedThe Thomas and Agnes Carvel Foundation v Carvel and Another ChD 11-Jun-2007
The husband and wife had made mutual wills in the US with an express agreement not to make later alterations or dispositions without the agreement of the other or at all after the first death. The wife survived, but having lost the first will made a . .
CitedJones and others v Firkin-Flood ChD 17-Oct-2008
The trustees had contracted to sell shares in a private company held within the estate. A family member now claimed that they were held in trust after a settlement of a possible challenge to the will based in lack of testamentary capacity and undue . .
CitedGreen and others v Gaul and Another; In re Loftus deceased ChD 18-Mar-2005
The claimants began an action in January 2003 to seek to set aside the appointment of an administrator from December 1991, and to have set aside transfers of property made within the estate.
Held: The limitation period against a personal . .
CitedKershaw v Micklethwaite and Others ChD 12-Feb-2010
Application by the claimant, Mr Kershaw, for some or all of the defendants to be removed as executors of the Will of Mr Kershaw’s mother. . .
CitedLehtimaki and Others v Cooper SC 29-Jul-2020
Charitable Company- Directors’ Status and Duties
A married couple set up a charitable foundation to assist children in developing countries. When the marriage failed an attempt was made to establish a second foundation with funds from the first, as part of W leaving the Trust. Court approval was . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 25 August 2021; Ref: scu.247442

Vucicevic and Others v Aleksic and Others: ChD 10 Oct 2017

Consequential judgment
Paul Matthews HHJ
[2017] EWHC 2519 (Ch)
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
Main JudgmentVucicevic and Another v Aleksic and Others ChD 20-Sep-2017
. .

Cited by:
See AlsoVucicevic and Another v Aleksic and Others ChD 14-Aug-2020
. .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 20 August 2021; Ref: scu.597475

Vucicevic and Another v Aleksic and Others: ChD 20 Sep 2017

Paul Matthews HHJ
[2017] EWHC 2335 (Ch)
Bailii
England and Wales
Cited by:
Main JudgmentVucicevic and Others v Aleksic and Others ChD 10-Oct-2017
Consequential judgment . .
Main JudgmentVucicevic and Another v Aleksic and Others ChD 14-Aug-2020
. .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 20 August 2021; Ref: scu.597464

Regina v Kelly; Regina v Lindsay: CACD 21 May 1998

Kelly was an artist allowed to draw anatomical specimens at the hospital, and Lindsay was a technician. They removed body parts from the hospital, and now appealed their convictions for theft.
Held: There is an exception to the traditional common law rule that ‘there is no property in a corpse’, namely, that once a human body or body part has undergone a process of skill by a person authorised to perform it, with the object of preserving for the purpose of medical or scientific examination or for the benefit of medical science, it becomes something quite different from an interred corpse. It thereby acquires a usefulness or value. It is capable of becoming property in the usual way, and can be stolen.’ The processes undertaken by a teaching hospital in which they preserved body parts created for them a sufficient proprietorial interest in the body parts to found a claim of theft against a defendant for removing them without their consent.
Rose LJ, Ognall J, Sullivan J
Times 21-May-1998, [1998] EWCA Crim 1578, [1997] 1 WLR 596, [1998] 3 All ER 741, [1999] QB 621, (2000) 51 BMLR 142
Bailii
Theft Act 1968 4 5
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedYearworth and others v North Bristol NHS Trust CA 4-Feb-2009
The defendant hospital had custody of sperm samples given by the claimants in the course of fertility treatment. The samples were effectively destroyed when the fridge malfunctioned. Each claimant was undergoing chemotherapy which would prevent them . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 17 June 2021; Ref: scu.87047

Wilson v Lassman: ChD 7 Mar 2017

Claim for revocation of grant of probate on grounds that the will was not validly executed. It had been signed but before the witnesses attended.
Held: The will of the deceased was properly executed and attested in compliance with statute and is valid. The court considered the presumption of due execution of a will: ‘where the will contains . . an attestation clause, ‘the strongest evidence’ is required to rebut the presumption of due execution . . the importance and weight to be attached to that presumption is both principled and practical. It reflects, in terms of practicality, the reality that those attesting a will may well be called upon to recollect the circumstances of execution a very long time after attestation has taken place and where memories of facts which are not, to the attesting witnesses, of any particular importance may well have diminished, or disappeared. In terms of principle, it leans in favour of giving effect to the validity of a will, which, in its turn, gives effect to the testator’s intentions, rather than, potentially negating those intentions.’
Here, it was common ground that the attestation clause did not accurately reflect that which occurred. The will was not signed by the deceased in the presence of the attesting witnesses. The will was already signed by the deceased before being provided by the deceased to the attesting witnesses to sign as witnesses and, therefore, that even if the circumstances of their attestation constitute a valid execution of the will it is a different form of due execution to that asserted in the attestation clause. The presumption could not be relied upon.
However, the evidence did establish that the signed will was produced to the witnesses and the signature acknowledged.
Bowles M
[2017] EWHC 85 (Ch)
Bailii
Wills Act 1837 9, Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedWright v Rogers 1869
The survivor of the attesting witnesses of a will, which was signed by the testator and the witnesses at the foot of an attestation clause, gave evidence a year later that the will was not signed by him in the presence of the testator.
Held: . .
CitedKayll v Rawlinson ChD 2010
The parties disputed the validity of a will.
Held: (obiter) David Richards J said that because it was common ground that the terms of the attestation clause did not reflect the manner in which the signing of the will by the testator had been . .
CitedSherrington and Another v Sherrington CA 29-Dec-2006
The deceased had after remarriage made a will which excluded from benefit entirely his first wife and children by her. Claims under the 1975 Act were put to one side while the court decided on the validity of the will, but then dismissed. The court . .
CitedSherrington v Sherrington CA 22-Mar-2005
The deceased, a solicitor of long standing, was said to have signed his will without having read it, and had two witnesses sign the document without them knowing what they were attesting. He had remarried, and the will was challenged by his . .
CitedChannon and Another v Perkins (A Firm) CA 1-Dec-2005
A will was challenged by the family. The witnesses had said that they did not remember witnessing the deceased sign the will, and would have done. The principle beneficiary appealed refusal of admission to probate of the will.
Held: Neuberger . .

Cited by:
CitedWrangle v Brunt and Another ChD 6-Jul-2020
Challenge to purported wills as forgeries.
Held: Though the will was not executed as described in the attestation clause: ‘On the totality of the evidence before me, I am satisfied Dean understood and approved what was in the will when it was . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 01 June 2021; Ref: scu.579955

Esterhuizen and Another v Allied Dunbar Assurance Plc: QBD 10 Jun 1998

A non-professional will writing agency should be subject to the same standards of professional negligence in drawing up wills as a recognised lawyer. This is necessary to protect members of the public using will writing services. ‘the process of signature and attestation is not completely straightforward and disaster may ensue if it is not correctly done. Any testator is entitled to expect reasonable assistance without having to ask exprssly for it. It is in my judgment not enough just to leave written instructions with the testator. In ordinary circumstances just to leave written instructions and to do no more will not only be contrary to good practice but also in my view negligent.’
Gazette 15-Jul-1998, Times 10-Jun-1998
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedWhite and Another v Jones and Another HL 16-Feb-1995
Will Drafter liable in Negligence to Beneficiary
A solicitor drawing a will may be liable in negligence to a potential beneficiary, having unduly delayed in the drawing of the will. The Hedley Byrne principle was ‘founded upon an assumption of responsibility.’ Obligations may occasionally arise . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 01 June 2021; Ref: scu.80378

Raymond Saul and Co (A Firm) v Holden and Another; In re Hemming (deceased): ChD 12 Nov 2008

The claimant was sole residuary legatee of his mother’s estate. He became bankrupt, but was released by automatic discharge from the bankruptcy before the administration of the estate was completed. He challenged the solicitors who wished to pay the estate to his trustee.
Held: The value of the estate was payable to the trustee in bankruptcy. Once the right vested in the trustee, it could not revert to the bankrupt on release. ‘ the Trustee has never had any proprietary interest in Mrs. Hemming’s half-share of the cottage, or in the proceeds of sale of that specific property. Accordingly, if and to the extent that the Trustee asserted any present entitlement to the proceeds of sale in the hands of Raymond Saul and Co., that claim was unjustified. ‘
Richard Snowden, QC
[2008] EWHC 2731 (Ch), Times 09-Dec-2008, [2008] WTLR 1833, [2008] NPC 122, [2009] 2 WLR 1257, [2009] Ch 313
Bailii
Insolvency Act 1986 283(1) 306(1) 436
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedSudeley v Attorney-General HL 1897
The husband had died leaving part of his residuary estate to his widow. She then died before the estate was fully administered. Both died domiciled in England. The husband’s estate included mortgages of land in New Zealand and the House was asked . .
CitedDr Barnardo’s Homes National Incorporated Association v Commissioners for Special Purposes of the Income Tax Acts HL 14-Mar-1921
A testator had left his residuary estate to a charity. His estate included some investments. During the course of the administration of the estate, the executors received income from the investments on which tax had been deducted at source. The . .
CitedCommissioner of Stamp Duties (Queensland) v Livingston PC 7-Oct-1964
A testator had died domiciled in New South Wales and with real and personal property both in New South Wales and in Queensland. He left one-third of his real and personal estate to his widow absolutely. She then died intestate, also domiciled in New . .
CitedMarshall (Inspector of Taxes) v Kerr HL 30-Jun-1994
A settlor by will was deemed to have had an interest as funds were passed to a Jersey Trust. The section merely made or allowed that a variation of a will would not be a taxable event in UK law. It had no other effects. A deed of family arrangement . .

Cited by:
Principal judgmentRaymond Saul and Co (A Firm) v Holden and Another ChD 16-Dec-2008
. .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 16 May 2021; Ref: scu.277939

Anstey v Mundle and Another: ChD 25 Feb 2016

The deceased had been born in Jamaica, but had lived in the UK for many years. The parties, before a grant in the estate of the deceased, disputed whether he should be buried in England or returned to Jamaica for burial.
Held: Having considered the factors as set out in Hartshorne, an order was to be made for his return to Jamaica.
Mr Jonathan Kleene
[2016] EWHC 1073 (Ch), [2016] WTLR 931, [2016] Inquest LR 47
Bailii
Senior Courts Acts 1981 116
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedBuchanan v Milton FD 27-May-1999
The applicant sought to displace, solely for burial purposes, as personal representative a person who was otherwise entitled to a grant.
Held: Hale J said: ‘There is no right of ownership in a dead body. However, there is a duty at common law . .
CitedScotching v Birch ChD 2008
When a court is asked which of several people may be appointed administrator of a deceased’s estate section 116 jurisdiction is capable of being engaged. . .
CitedSharp v Lush 1879
An executor appointed by will is entitled to obtain possession of the body for its proper disposal. . .
CitedWilliams v Williams 1882
By codicil to his will the deceased directed that his executors should give his body to Miss Williams; and by letter he requested her to cremate his body under a pile of wood, to place the ashes into a specified Wedgwood vase and to claim her . .
CitedDobson and Dobson v North Tyneside Health Authority and Newcastle Health Authority CA 26-Jun-1996
A post mortem had been carried out by the defendants. The claimants, her grandmother and child sought damages after it was discovered that not all body parts had been returned for burial, some being retained instead for medical research. They now . .
AppliedHartshorne v Gardner ChD 14-Mar-2008
The deceased died in a motor accident, aged 44. The parties, his mother and father, disputed control over his remains, and requested an order from the court.
Held: The court has such an inherent jurisdiction. Since the claimants had an equal . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 10 May 2021; Ref: scu.618959

University Hospital Lewisham NHS Trust v Hamuth and others: ChD 23 Jan 2006

The body of the deceased had been retained by the hospital pending resolution of legal proceedings relating to his death. No grant had been yet obtained in the estate.
Held: In the absence of anybody else with authority, the hospital having charge of it, has both the duty and the right to decide on how the body should be dealt with.
Hart J
[2006] EWHC 1609 (Ch)
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedFessi v Whitmore 1999
The place with which the deceased had the closest connection is relevant as to the decision as to his or her ultimate resting place. . .

Cited by:
CitedHartshorne v Gardner ChD 14-Mar-2008
The deceased died in a motor accident, aged 44. The parties, his mother and father, disputed control over his remains, and requested an order from the court.
Held: The court has such an inherent jurisdiction. Since the claimants had an equal . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 09 May 2021; Ref: scu.245413

Barron v Woodhead and Another: ChD 25 Jun 2008

The claimant sought provision under the 1975 Act from the estate of his deceased wife.
Behrens J
[2008] WTLR 1675, [2008] Fam Law 844, [2008] EWHC 810 (Ch), [2009] 1 FLR 747, [2009] 2 FCR 631
Bailii
Inheritance (Provision For Family and Dependants) Act 1975
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedRe Besterman, decd CA 1984
In the case of an application under the Act by a surviving spouse, maintenance is not the only, or even the dominant, consideration to be taken into account by the court. ‘In an application under section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 the . .
CitedMoody v Stevenson CA 12-Jul-1991
The widower aged 81, appealed against refusal of provision under the 1975 Act from his wife’s estate. She had left him nothing. The judge at first instance had found, applying Styler, that her treatment was not unreasonable, and that therefore no . .
CitedKrubert, Re; Krubert v Davis and Others CA 27-Jun-1996
The beneficiaries under the will appealed against an order under the 1975 Act, effectively transferring the entire estate to the surviving spouse.
Held: The effect of sections 1, 2 and the other material provisions of the 1975 Act is that on . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 08 May 2021; Ref: scu.346875

Rittson-Thomas and Others v Oxfordshire County Council: ChD 9 Mar 2018

[2018] EWHC 455 (Ch)
Bailii
School Sites Act 1841
England and Wales
Cited by:
Appeal fromRittson-Thomas and Others v Oxfordshire County Council CA 21-Feb-2019
. .
At ChDRittson-Thomas and Others v Oxfordshire County Council SC 23-Apr-2021
If land has been donated under the 1841 Act, and the school later moves to a new site, can the original site be sold to help pay for the costs of the new school? . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 24 April 2021; Ref: scu.605845

Birdseye and Another v Roythorne and Co and Others: ChD 15 Apr 2015

The claimant sought disclosure from the executors of various documents from the estate which might eb protected by privilege.
Held: Such a request must be supported by some evidence at least that the applicant might be a beneficiary.
Newey J
[2015] EWHC 1003 (Ch), [2015] WLR(D) 169
Bailii, WLRD
England and Wales

Updated: 07 April 2021; Ref: scu.545432

King Arthur Pendragon, Regina (on The Application of) v Ministry of Justice: Admn 23 Aug 2011

The claimant sought review of a licence granted by the respondent for the temporary exhumation of human remains from the historical site at Stonehenge. He said that desppite the terms of the order allowing the disinterment, the licensee had said that he did not wish the bodies to be returned but rather that they should be exhibited in a museum.
Held: Despite the admission by the licensee that that would be his preferred option, there was no evidenc brought by the claimant that the respondent had any intention to alter the terms of the licence. The request failed.
Wyn Williams J
[2011] EWHC 2607 (Admin)
Bailii
England and Wales

Updated: 16 March 2021; Ref: scu.445482

Murray v King’s Advocate: SCS 18 Feb 1502

A bastard leaving a wife, but no children, the King’s donatary has right to the whole heritage and heirship moveables; also to the half of the other moveables, under burden of the bastard’s debts, funeral expences, andc. The relict has right to the remainder of the moveables.
[1502] Mor 1346
Bailii
Scotland

Updated: 13 March 2021; Ref: scu.543968

The Official Solicitor To The Senior Courts v Yemoh and Others: ChD 15 Dec 2010

The deceased had died intestate in 1985, and the administration concluded only lately by the Official Solicitor, who now sought guidance from the court on the administration of the estate, given that he had been party to eight customary polygamous (but lawful) marriages, with associated numbers of children.
Elleray QC J
[2010] EWHC 3727 (Ch)
Bailii
Judicial Trustee Act 1896, Administration of Estates Act 1925 46(1)
England and Wales

Updated: 12 March 2021; Ref: scu.440435

Boswell and Others v Lawson and Others: CA 19 Apr 2011

The claimants sought rectification of the will, saying that it did not represent his testamentary wishes. A solicitor’s letter explaining the effect was mistaken. The judge had found the error to be in the letter, and not the wills.
Held: The appeal failed: ‘it seems to me that by some way the most probable reconciliation of the facts is that the wills did correctly reflect the instructions given by Mr and Mrs Appleby.’
Jacob, Lloyd, Wilson LJJ
[2011] EWCA Civ 452
Bailii
Administration of Justice Act 1982
England and Wales

Updated: 07 March 2021; Ref: scu.432833

Marley and 11 Others v Mutual Security Merchant Bank and Trust Co Ltd Co: PC 15 Oct 1990

BANKING – EQUITY, TRUSTS, PROBATE ADMINISTRATOR’S POWERS OF INVESTMENT Bank as sole administrator cannot invest estate funds in its own deposits in the absence of express sanction in the trust instrument.
Lord Oliver of Aylmerton said: ‘A trustee who is in genuine doubt about the propriety of any contemplated course of action in the exercise of his fiduciary duties and discretions is always entitled to seek proper professional advice and, if so advised, to protect his position by seeking the guidance of the court.’
He also said: ‘The question whether the trustee has demonstrated that the contract submitted for approval is in the best interests of the beneficiaries reduces, in such a case as this, to whether the trustee can satisfy the court that it has taken all the necessary steps to obtain the best price that would be taken by a reasonably diligent professional trustee. The question may equally well be expressed as whether the trustee has shown that it has fully discharged its duty. That question may appear to be very similar to the question whether to enter into the contract without taking further steps and without seeking the directions of the court would justify an action by the beneficiaries for misconduct justifying the removal of the trustee. Nevertheless there is an essential distinction in that, in such an action, the beneficiaries would be required to assume the positive burden of demonstrating a breach of fiduciary duty. A failure to do so does not demonstrate the converse, namely that the transaction proposed, because not proved to be a breach of fiduciary duty, is therefore one which is in the interest of the beneficiaries’ . . and ‘In the Court of Appeal, Rowe P regarded it as doubtful whether the respondent, having entered into the conditional contract, could even investigate an alternative offer, but regarded that offer in any event as unworthy of serious consideration because the respondent had no knowledge of the financial stability of the proposed purchaser and because, in postponing conclusion of the conditional contract whilst the matter was investigated, the respondent risked losing the ‘bird in the hand’. . .
What the Court of Appeal appears to have overlooked entirely was that, having regard to the course which it was proposed to take as regards the obviously unsatisfactory features of the conditional contract – that is to say the treatment of moneys falling due to the estate up to the closing date and in the interest-free postponement of a substantial part of the consideration – the ‘bird in the hand’ argument ceased to have any validity at all, for the effect of the order proposed and finally made was that the respondent had, in any event, to reject the conditional contract as it stood and to negotiate fresh terms with the purchaser if it proved willing to consider them.’
Lord Oliver of Aylmerton
[1991] 3 All ER 198, [1990] UKPC 44
Bailii
Trustee Act 1956 66
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedJohn Weth and Others v Her Majesty’s Attorney General and Others CA 23-Feb-2001
A charitable trust had been established. Protracted disputes had taken place, and the burden of the costs required to be apportioned. The financial practices of the charity had been informal leading to confusion, and dissension. An intervention by . .
Cited3 Individual Present Professional Trustees of 2 Trusts v an Infant Prospective Beneficiary of One Trust and others ChD 25-Jul-2007
The parties challenged under the 198 Act the right of trustees to seek a Beddoe order protecting themselves against an award of costs. . .
See AlsoMarley and Others v Mutual Security Merchant Bank and Trust Co Ltd Co PC 2-Feb-1995
(Jamaica) . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 05 March 2021; Ref: scu.429845

Hope and Another v Knight: ChD 15 Dec 2010

The separated widow and the deceased’s daughter sought reasonable provision from the estate.
Purle QC HHJ
[2010] EWHC 3443 (Ch), [2011] WTLR 583
Bailii
Inheritance (Provisions for Family and Dependants) Act 1975
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedIlott v The Blue Cross and Others SC 15-Mar-2017
What is reasonable provision for daughter
The deceased had left her estate in her will to several animal charities. The claimant, her daughter, had been estranged from her mother for many years, and sought reasonable provision from her estate under the 1975 Act. The district judge had . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 04 March 2021; Ref: scu.428424

H v Mitson and Others: FD 1 Dec 2009

Eleanor King J
[2010] 1 FLR 1613, [2009] EWHC 3114 (Fam)
Bailii
Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedIn Re Coventry (deceased) CA 3-Jan-1979
The deceased’s adult son sought provision from the intestate estate. The sole beneficiary under the rules was the plaintiff’s mother. The estate was modest; the intestate’s interest in his house (he had been living there with the plaintiff). The . .

Cited by:
Appeal fromIlott v Mitson and Others CA 31-Mar-2011
The claimant, the estranged adult daughter of the deceased, had claimed under the 1975 Act. The judge made an order for payment of andpound;50,000 by way of capitalisation of maintenance. The claimant appealed saying she should have received more, . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 27 February 2021; Ref: scu.421344

Perrins v Holland and Others: ChD 21 Oct 2009

Lewison J
[2009] EWHC 2558 (Ch)
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
Main judgmentPerrins v Holland and Another ChD 31-Jul-2009
The son of the deceased challenged the testamentary capacity of the testator and further claimed under the 1975 Act. The deceased was disabled and had substantial difficulty communicating.
Held: The will was validly made. Logically it is . .

Cited by:
Costs at First InstancePerrins v Holland and Others; In re Perrins, deceased CA 21-Jul-2010
The testator had given instructions for his will and received a draft will. The judge had found that he had capacity to make the will when he gave instructions but not when it was executed. The will having been made in accordance with his . .
Appeal fromPerrins v Holland and Others; In re Perrins, deceased CA 21-Jul-2010
The testator had given instructions for his will and received a draft will. The judge had found that he had capacity to make the will when he gave instructions but not when it was executed. The will having been made in accordance with his . .
See AlsoPerrins v Holland and Others CA 8-Dec-2010
The court heard an appeal as to costs. . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 19 February 2021; Ref: scu.377217

Olins v Walters: ChD 19 Dec 2007

A claim was made for the proof of a will and of a codicil as a mutual will.
Norris J said of one witness: ‘I have a deep sense that her evidence is not based upon a real recollection of two brief incidents (putting her signature on a document one or two decades ago) but upon a reconstruction of what she would have done having regard to her inability to recollect the Deceased’s attendance at Battersea and her willingness to do whatever Mr Walters requested. I am also alert to the danger that recollection can be coloured by the context in which it is invited.’
Norris J
[2007] EWHC 3060 (Ch), [2008] WTLR 339
Bailii
England and Wales
Cited by:
Appeal fromWalters 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 . .
CitedLegg and Another v Burton and Others ChD 11-Aug-2017
Testing for Mutual Wills
The parties disputed whether wills were mutual. The claimants challenged the probate granted to a later will of their deceased mother, saying that her earlier will had been mutual and irrevocable after the death of their father.
Held: The . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 14 February 2021; Ref: scu.341757

Regina v Investor’s Compensation Scheme, ex Parte Bowden: QBD 17 Feb 1993

The Investors’ Compensation Scheme must exercise discretion in quantifying a claim. An investor’s right to make a claim under the scheme survives his death and passes to his personal representative.
Independent 17-Feb-1993, Gazette 07-Apr-1993
Financial Services Act 1986
England and Wales
Cited by:
Appeal fromRegina v Investors Compensation Scheme Ltd, ex Parte Bowden and Another CA 30-Jun-1994
The Scheme must award compensation in accordance with accepted methods of calculating damages. It had no authority to limit payment of legal fees of applicants to andpound;500.00. . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 13 February 2021; Ref: scu.86956

In Re the Estate of Ronald Ernest Chittock (Deceased); Chittock v Stevens and Others: ChD 5 Apr 2000

A widow had thought that she was to receive the bulk of her husband’s estate by survivorship, but discovered, only out of time and after the six months limit, that this was not the case. She applied for leave to apply out of time to rectify the will, saying that the revocation of the necessary provision was an error.
Held: The application should be decided on similar principles to applications for an extension of time under the Inheritance etc Act. The failure to proceed arose from a fundamental mistake as to the value of the estate. The beneficiaries had operated under the same misapprehension, and had not therefore acted to their detriment because of the delay. Leave was given.
David Donaldson QC
Times 05-Apr-2000, (2000) 1 WTLR 643
Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, Administration of Justice Act 1975 4
England and Wales
Citing:
DistinguishedEscritt v Escritt 1981
. .
CitedIn re Salmon (Deceased) 1981
The time limit under the 1975 Act is ‘a substantive provision laid down in the Act itself and is not a mere procedural time limit imposed by rules of court which will be treated with the indulgence appropriate to procedural rules. The burden on the . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 12 February 2021; Ref: scu.82244

M’Caig v University of Glasgow: SCS 18 Dec 1906

The heir in heritage of the late Mr M’Caig of Oban seeks to establish her rights as such, notwithstanding the fact that he has made a testament in favour of trustees, and has directed them to hold his estate and to apply the proceeds in doing certain things on the estate. She does not impugn the deed on the ground of mental incapacity. She attacks it on the ground that it does not give any disposal of the estate for the benefit of any person or class of persons, and is in no better position to exclude her than if it had simply disinherited her without putting anyone in her place, which it is plain would not have invalidated her right as heir.
Lord Stormonth-Darling
[1906] ScotCS CSIH – 2, 1907 SC 231, (1906) 14 SLT 600
Bailii

Updated: 11 February 2021; Ref: scu.279270

Sammut and others v Manzi and others: PC 4 Dec 2008

(the Bahamas) The court was asked to construe a will.
Lord Phillips said: ‘The starting point when construing any will is to attempt to deduce the intention of the testator by giving the words of the will the meaning that they naturally bear, having regard to the contents of the will as a whole. Sometimes it is legitimate to have regard to extrinsic evidence in order to show that words used had a special meaning to the testator, but it has not been suggested that this is such a case.
Extrinsic evidence of the testator’s intention may also be admissible to resolve uncertainty or ambiguity . .
There were placed before their Lordships no less than 17 decided cases, some of which involved decisions on wording that bore some similarity with that used in the present case. Little assistance in construing a will is likely to be gained by consideration of how other judges have interpreted similar wording in other cases. Counsel rightly recognised that the starting point must be to look at the natural meaning of the wording of the will to be construed without reference to other decisions or to prima facie principles of construction.’
Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Baroness Hale of Richmond, Lord Carswell
[2008] UKPC 58, [2009] 1 WLR 1834, [2009] 2 All ER 234
Bailii
Commonwealth
Cited by:
CitedJump and Another v Lister and Another ChD 12-Aug-2016
Omnibus Survivorship Clauses
Wills for two people hade been drafted with survivorship clauses which provided for others according to the order in which they died, but in the event, having died together it had been impossible to say which died first. The parties disputed the . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 11 February 2021; Ref: scu.279093

Sprackling and others v Sprackling and Another: ChD 6 Nov 2008

Family members argued that the will did not reflect the wishes of the deceased. The deceased had owned substantial and varied farming businesses, and had made a new will leaving the farm to his seciond wife, and not the sons by his first marriage.
Held: Some rectifications were agreed. However, as to the rest, the sons had overstated the deceased’s concerns about the businesses, and the business position could not support their arguments for further rectification.
Norris J
[2008] EWHC 2696 (Ch)
Bailii
Administration of Justice Act 1982 20(1)
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedIn re Morris Deceased ChD 1970
A mistake was made in the drafting of a codicil by which, inter alia, the testatrix had revoked cl 7 of her will. It was clear from the evidence that the testatrix had never intended to revoke the whole of that clause but only to revoke the . .
CitedIn re Segelman (dec’d) ChD 1996
The burden of proof which falls on a disappointed beneficiary who seeks rectification of the will, saying that the will did not give effect to a testator’s intentions, is an exacting one.
Chadwick J said: ‘Although the standard of proof . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 11 February 2021; Ref: scu.277569

Warner v Verfides: ChD 29 Oct 2008

The deceased bankrupt’s Autralian trustees sought disclosure of documents recording his dealings in the UK. Third party Swiss lawyers now sought to intervene to say that such disclosure would breach the confidence of many of their clients. Redactions were agreed, and the court now looked to the costs.
Held: The interveners’ human rights had been engaged by the request. The court considered the technical meaning of correspondence within article 8, saying ‘To construe the term as applying only to letters still in the possession of the writer or in the process of transmission to the intended recipient appears unduly restrictive. In ordinary parlance, the term would be expected to apply to exchanges of letters in whosever hands they happened to be. ‘ and the interveners’ Article 8 rights are engaged by an application for production of documents in the hands of Verfides that were generated in the course of, or otherwise relate to, the interveners’ business activities. After initial doubts, the interveners had conducted their objections properly. Trustees and interveners were to bear their own costs.
John Martin, QC
[2008] EWHC 2609 (Ch)
Bailii, Times
European Convention on Human Rights 8
England and Wales

Updated: 11 February 2021; Ref: scu.277551

Van Kwawagen v Royal National Lifeboat Institution and Another: ChD 9 Jun 2008

The charities said that the deceased had left a will making gifts to them. The family said there was no will. A will had been executed, and was said by some witnesses to have been found after the death, and one witness remembered the family member asking if the will could be ignored. It was not subsequently produced for probate.
Held: It was implausible to say that the witnesses had not seen the will, and the reconstituted will was admitted to probate.
Sarah Asplin QC
[2008] EWHC 2246 (Ch)
Bailii
England and Wales

Updated: 10 February 2021; Ref: scu.276670

Borrows v HM Coroner for Preston: QBD 15 May 2008

The family members disputed who should have custody of the deceased’s body and the right to make arrangements for the funeral.
Cranston J
[2008] EWHC 1387 (QB), [2008] EWHC 1387 (Admin), [2008] Fam Law 984, [2008] 2 FLR 1225
Bailii
Cremation Regulations 1930 8
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedRe JS (Disposal of Body) FD 10-Nov-2016
Child’s Wish for post-mortem cryonic Preservation
JS, a child of 14, anticipating her death from cancer expressed the desire that her body should receive cryonic preservation in the hope that one day a treatment might be available to allow her to be revived, and proceedings were issued. Her parents . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 08 February 2021; Ref: scu.270485

Brown v Executors of the Estate of HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and others: CA 8 Feb 2008

The claimant sought leave to appeal refusal of access to the will of Princess Margaret. He wished to prove that he was her illegitimate son. The will had been subject to an order providing that its contens were not to be published.
Held: ‘Sections 124 and 125 of the 1981 Act deal with access to documents, namely wills, that are under the control of the court. Those sections provide that wills are to be open to inspection ‘subject to the control of the High Court’. Rule 58 of the NCPR makes provision for the court to determine that a will shall not be open to inspection if such inspection ‘would be undesirable or otherwise inappropriate’. No procedure is laid down for seeking or resisting an order that a will is not to be open to inspection. ‘ However the process under which this and other wills had been sealed was not itself transparent and no reasons had been given. The claimant should be given opportunity to argue his case.
Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers CJ, Thorpe LJ, Dyson Lj
[2008] EWCA Civ 56, [2008] 1 WLR 2327, [2008] 1 WLR 2327
Bailii
Supreme Court Act 1981, Non-Contentious Probate Rules 1987 3
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedLewis v Lewis 1904
An executor owes no duty to inform a legatee of the terms of his legacy. . .
Appeal fromBrown v HM Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, the Executors of the Estate of and others FD 5-Jul-2007
The plaintiff sought the unsealing of the wills of the late Queen Mother and of the late Princess Margaret, claiming that these would assist him establishing that he was the illegitimate son of the latter.
Held: The application was frivolous. . .

Cited by:
CitedRe Benmusa FD 14-Mar-2017
No Access to will of Princess Margaret
The claimant sought to have unsealed the will of the late Princess Margaret.
Held: The application was struck out: ‘The applicant has not articulated any intelligible basis for her claim. The facts alleged by the applicant neither assert nor . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 06 February 2021; Ref: scu.264268

Paul v Constance: CA 8 Jul 1976

Scarman LJ
[1976] EWCA Civ 2, [1977] 1 WLR 527
Bailii
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedLegg and Another v Burton and Others ChD 11-Aug-2017
Testing for Mutual Wills
The parties disputed whether wills were mutual. The claimants challenged the probate granted to a later will of their deceased mother, saying that her earlier will had been mutual and irrevocable after the death of their father.
Held: The . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 05 February 2021; Ref: scu.262712

Brown v HM Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, the Executors of the Estate of and others: FD 5 Jul 2007

The plaintiff sought the unsealing of the wills of the late Queen Mother and of the late Princess Margaret, claiming that these would assist him establishing that he was the illegitimate son of the latter.
Held: The application was frivolous. None of the evidence presented remotely constituted evidence of what the claimant asserted. Though section 124 appeared to grant a full right to see a will lodged with the registry, that right was subject to a discretion in the court. As to his human rights claim that he was entitled to know: ‘The Human Rights Act was enacted and the Convention concluded in order to protect from interference and prejudice real rights and existing situations, not illusory rights or imaginary claims. A claimant is entitled to respect for the existence and development of his or her real family life under Article 8 and not for a fantasy family life, the product of his or her imagination. ‘ The claim failed.
Sir Mark Potter P
[2007] EWHC 1607 (Fam), [2007] WTLR 1129
Bailii
Non-Contentious Probate Rules 1987, Supreme Court Act 1981 124
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedIn re: King George III 1822
The will of the Sovereign is not subject to probate. . .
CitedReichal v Magrath 1889
The court has an inherent jurisdiction to strike out all proceedings before it which are obviously frivolous or vexatious or an abuse of its process. . .
CitedIn re Stollery 1926
A birth certificate is prima facie evidence of all matters required by statute to be entered in the certificate. . .
CitedGouriet v Union of Post Office Workers HL 26-Jul-1977
The claimant sought an injunction to prevent the respondent Trades Union calling on its members to boycott mail to South Africa. The respondents challenged the ability of the court to make such an order.
Held: The wide wording of the statute . .
CitedJackson v Jackson and Pavan 1964
A properly issued birth certificate is prima facie evidence of the matters stated. . .
CitedRegina v Inland Revenue Commissioners, ex parte the National Federation of Self-Employed and Small Businesses Ltd HL 9-Apr-1981
Limitations on HMRC discretion on investigation
The Commissioners had been concerned at tax evasion of up to 1 million pounds a year by casual workers employed in Fleet Street. They agreed with the employers and unions to collect tax in the future, but that they would not pursue those who had . .
CitedRe Angela Roddy (a child) (identification: restriction on publication), Torbay Borough Council v News Group Newspapers FD 2-Dec-2003
A twelve year old girl had become pregnant. The Catholic Church was said to have paid her not to have an abortion. After the birth she and her baby were taken into care. The authority proposed the adoption of the baby. There was more publicity. . .
CitedRegina v Monopolies and Mergers Commission, ex parte Argyll Group plc CA 14-Mar-1986
Weighing Interest of Seeker of Judicial Review
The court recast in simpler language the provision in section 75 empowering the Secretary of State to make a merger reference to the Commission: ‘where it appears to him that it is or may be the fact that arrangements are in progress or in . .
CitedPretty v The United Kingdom ECHR 29-Apr-2002
The applicant was paralysed and suffered a degenerative condition. She wanted her husband to be allowed to assist her suicide by accompanying her to Switzerland. English law would not excuse such behaviour. She argued that the right to die is not . .
CitedBensaid v The United Kingdom ECHR 6-Feb-2001
The applicant was a schizophrenic and an illegal immigrant. He claimed that his removal to Algeria would deprive him of essential medical treatment and sever ties that he had developed in the UK that were important for his well-being. He claimed . .
CitedBotta v Italy ECHR 24-Feb-1998
The claimant, who was disabled, said that his Article 8 rights were infringed because, in breach of Italian law, there were no facilities to enable him to get to the sea when he went on holiday.
Held: ‘Private life . . includes a person’s . .
CitedLeander v Sweden ECHR 26-Mar-1987
Mr Leander had been refused employment at a museum located on a naval base, having been assessed as a security risk on the basis of information stored on a register maintained by State security services that had not been disclosed him. Mr Leander . .
CitedGuerra and Others v Italy ECHR 19-Feb-1998
(Grand Chamber) The applicants lived about 1km from a chemical factory which produced fertilizers and other chemicals and was classified as ‘high risk’ in criteria set out by Presidential Decree.
Held: Failure by a government to release to an . .
CitedNiemietz v Germany ECHR 16-Dec-1992
A lawyer complained that a search of his offices was an interference with his private life.
Held: In construing the term ‘private life’, ‘it would be too restrictive to limit the notion of an ‘inner circle’ in which the individual may live his . .
CitedGaskin v The United Kingdom ECHR 7-Jul-1989
The applicant complained of ill-treatment while he was in the care of a local authority and living with foster parents. He sought access to his case records held by the local authority but his request was denied.
Held: The refusal to allow him . .

Cited by:
Appeal fromBrown v Executors of the Estate of HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and others CA 8-Feb-2008
The claimant sought leave to appeal refusal of access to the will of Princess Margaret. He wished to prove that he was her illegitimate son. The will had been subject to an order providing that its contens were not to be published.
Held: . .
CitedRe Benmusa FD 14-Mar-2017
No Access to will of Princess Margaret
The claimant sought to have unsealed the will of the late Princess Margaret.
Held: The application was struck out: ‘The applicant has not articulated any intelligible basis for her claim. The facts alleged by the applicant neither assert nor . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 03 February 2021; Ref: scu.254471

Gibbs v Harding and others: ChD 12 Jan 2007

The testatrix left a will anticipating making another. The court was asked whether a clause leaving her estate to ‘be taken over by the Diocese of Westminster to hold in trust for the Black community of Hackney’ was valid.
Held: The gift was capable of being charitable, subject to the application of the 1976 Act. It therefore took effect as a gift to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Westminster on charitable trusts.
Lewison J
[2007] EWHC 3 (Ch)
Bailii
Race Relations Act 1976 34
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedHarrison v Gibson ChD 21-Dec-2005
The husband owned the family home. In a home-made will, he left it ‘in trust for’ his wife. She died leaving differing proportions to each child. On her death the children sought a declaration from the court as to their respective interests.
CitedMitford v Reynolds 1842
A gift was made to the native inhabitans of Dacca. It was challenged as being void.
Held: As to whether a gift was charitable, the same principles apply when a particular class of inhabitants of a locality are the beneficiaries as when the the . .
CitedIn Re Dominion Students’ Hall Trust 1947
A trust deed imposed a ‘colour bar’.
Held: The court upheld a scheme which removed the bar. However, notionally there could be two complementary charities ‘one for white and one for coloured students’. These notional trusts were not being . .
CitedAttorney General v Webster 1875
A trust expressed to be for the benefit of a fluctuating body of individuals, such as the inhabitants of a locality, can only take effect as a charitable trust, if it has effect at all. . .
CitedGoodman v Mayor of Saltash HL 1882
A gift was made of a right to fish to the freemen of the Borough of Saltash.
Held: The gift was as valid as a charitable gift as would be a gift to the inhabitants of the locality in general. When long and continuous enjoyment is established, . .
CitedRegina v District Auditor No 3 Audit District of West Yorkshire Metropolitan County Council ex parte West Yorkshire Metropolitan County Council 1986
. .
CitedMcPhail v Doulton (on appeal from In re Baden’s Deed Trusts) HL 6-May-1970
The settlor asked whether the test for validity, in point of certainty of objects, is the same for trusts and powers, or whether the test for trusts is more demanding.
Held: The test is the same. The context was a provision, held to be a . .
CitedRe Mellody 1918
A gift to the schoolchildren of Turton was as valid a charitable gift as a gift to the inhabitants of the Borough would be. The gift was a gift ‘for purposes beneficial to a section of the community’; and the schoolchildren themselves were ‘a very . .
CitedIn re Smith 1932
A gift ‘unto my country England’ was construed as a gift for the benefit of the inhabitants of England and, by analogy with the cases on gifts to a parish, town or city, as impressed with a trust that it be applied for charitable purposes only. The . .
CitedIn Re Strakosch 1949
The court may construe a gift as impliedly limited to charitable purposes. Lord Greene MR said: ‘In Williams’ Trustees v Inland Revenue Commissioners the House of Lords has laid down very clearly that in order to come within Lord Macnaghten’s fourth . .
CitedWilliams’ Trustees v Inland Revenue Commisioners HL 1947
A trust was created by the memorandum and articles of association of a company. The overall objects of the company were to promote Welsh interests in London. The principal object of the trust was to create a centre in London ‘for promoting the moral . .
CitedMorice v Bishop of Durham HL 1805
The court was asked whether a gift of residue to be applied ‘to such objects of benevolence and liberality as the Bishop of Durham in his own discretion shall most approve of’ was valid as being confined to purposes that were charitable.
Held: . .
CitedGlazebrook v University of Leeds ChD 1944
The court upheld a charitable gift despite its uncertainty. . .
CitedPeggs and Others v Lamb and Others ChD 20-Apr-1993
Where beneficiaries had dwindled and income increased, the class of beneficiaries was extended. A gift to a class of people would be construed to be charitable unless there was something in the gift to exclude the presumption. It had been submitted . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 01 February 2021; Ref: scu.247686

Wylde v Culver: ChD 12 Apr 2006

The claimant sought to discontinue his probate action on the day of trial, and an order as to costs.
Held: The discontinuance should be allowed, there being no public interest to be served in a continuance. As to costs ‘in probate actions there is no stated presumption that a discontinuing claimant should pay the costs down to the discontinuance. However I approach the question of costs on the basis that the Claimant, in seeking to discontinue, should ordinarily pay the costs, and that the onus lies with him to show why there should be some different order. Shortly stated, in the absence of some good reason for a different order, it can be taken that the action was wrongly brought. This, after all, would be the starting point if the action went to trial and was dismissed. ‘ In this case, the claimant had been reasonable in acting on the issues on which the action was based, and he should not be ordered to pay the costs on the discontinuance. No order for costs was made.
George Bompas QC
[2006] EWHC 923 (Ch), [2006] 1 WLR 2674, [2006] 4 All ER 345
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedGreen v Briscoe 9-May-2005
The Court had dismissed an action brought to obtain an order pronouncing against a will, revocation of the probate granted in respect of the will and a declaration of intestacy. The defendant executor had counterclaimed for a grant of probate in . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 29 January 2021; Ref: scu.241462

Goodchild v Goodchild: ChD 13 Dec 1995

The husband and wife had made mirror wills. They divorced, and the husband made a new will. After his death, the child and the third wife of the deceased made a claim against the second wife.
Held: The wills were in identical terms, but nevertheless, fell short of having full and explicit status as mutual wills. Even so they could still create a trust, with a like result. The court granted an order under section 2 of the 1975 Act on the ground that wife’s mistaken belief that the terms of the wills were mutually binding imposed a moral obligation on the deceased. That constituted a special circumstance which exceptionally justified a claim by the son under the Act of 1975. ‘It is also clear from Birmingham v Renfrew . . that these cases of mutual wills are only one example of a wider category of cases, for example secret trusts, in which a court of equity will intervene to impose a constructive trust . . The principle of all these cases is that a court of equity will not permit a person to whom property is transferred by way of gift, but on the faith of an agreement or clear understanding that it is to be dealt with in a particular way for the benefit of a third person, to deal with that property inconsistently with that agreement or understanding.’ and ‘the agreement or understanding must be such as to impose on the donee a legally binding obligation to deal with the property in the particular way and that the other two certainties, namely, those as to the subject matter of the trust and the persons intended to benefit under it, are as essential to this species of trust as they are to any other.’
Carnwath J
Times 22-Dec-1995, Ind Summary 08-Jan-1996, [1996] 1 WLR 694
Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, Wills Act 1837 18
England and Wales
Citing:
Appealed toGoodchild 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, . .
CitedBirmingham v Renfrew 11-Jun-1937
(High Court of Australia) Cases of mutual wills are only one example of a wider category of cases, for example secret trusts, in which a court of equity will intervene to impose a constructive trust. Latham CJ described a mutual will arrangement as . .

Cited by:
Appeal fromGoodchild 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 . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 29 January 2021; Ref: scu.80910

Williams v Hensman: 10 Jun 1861

A fund of money was bequeathed on trust to be invested so as to generate an income payable to A ‘the principal to go to her children at her death’.
Held: The will created a joint tenancy. The court set out three ways in which a joint tenancy may be severed. Where joint tenants indicated by their conduct that they treated their interests separately, the fact that they did not understand that their interests had been joint did not prevent such behaviour acting to sever the tenancy.
Sir William Page Wood VC
[1861] 1 John and Hem 546, [1861] 30 LJ CH 878, [1861] 5 LT 203, [1861] 7 Jur NS 771, [1861] 70 ER 862, [1861] EWHC Ch J51
Bailii
England and Wales
Cited by:
FollowedBurgess v Rawnsley CA 15-Apr-1975
. .
CitedBarton v Morris 1985
A couple lived together as man and wife and bought a property for use as a guest house business to be run as a partnership. The conveyance executed by both of them included an express declaration that they held the property upon trust for themselves . .
CitedRe Palmer (A Deceased Debtor), Palmer v Palmer CA 6-Apr-1994
Property had been conveyed to the deceased and the appellant, his widow, to be held as joint tenants. The deceased dies whilst under investigation for defalcations as a solicitor, and an insolvency administration order was obtained in the estate. . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 28 January 2021; Ref: scu.238854