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Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

Inheritance Tax Bites on Jersey Resident’s Generosity

Published on: 25 September 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

A substantial portion of a benefactor’s generous legacy to good causes on the Island of Jersey will find its way into the pocket of HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) following a controversial High Court ruling.

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Property Developers Must Face Multi-Million-Pound Debts

Published on: 17 August 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

A couple who engaged in property development on borrowed money must face up to their multi-million-pound debts after the High Court ruled that their various defences to a bank’s claim were either hopeless or stood no reasonable prospect of success.

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Holocaust Survivor’s Carer Wins Just Reward

Published on: 10 July 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

A woman who devoted herself to the care of a widow and Holocaust survivor as her health declined has convinced the High Court that the old lady promised to reward her for her kindness with the gift of her £160,000 flat.

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Trustees Can’t Escape Pension Protection Fund Levy

Published on: 14 May 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

The trustees of the staff pension fund of a wholly Government-owned company have failed to convince the High Court that they do not have to pay the usual levy to the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) on the basis that the funds that they administered were already backed by a Home Office guarantee.

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Charities Benefit as Court Cures Drafting Error

Published on: 05 May 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

The High Court has stepped in to cure an unfortunate drafting error so as to ensure that the wishes of a woman in her nineties are honoured and that four charities she favoured will receive her substantial bounty free of Inheritance Tax (IHT).

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Callous Grandson Stripped of Power of Attorney

Published on: 10 April 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

In a case which starkly revealed that vulnerable old people cannot always rely on their nearest and dearest, the callous daughter and grandson of a dementia sufferer have been stripped of lasting powers of attorney in respect of her finances and welfare after substantial sums were plundered from her bank account.

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Adoptive Son Forged Dying Mother’s Signature on Will

Published on: 16 March 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

In a sad tale of bitter family acrimony, a judge has ruled that an adopted son forged his mother's signature on her will as she lay dying from cancer on a hospital ward in the belief that he deserved to inherit her entire estate due to the care that he had given her.

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Beneficiaries of Jimmy Savile’s £3.3 Million Will May Receive Nothing

Published on: 11 March 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

In giving directions for the administration of the estate of the late entertainer Jimmy Savile, the High Court has acknowledged that the entirety of his £3.3 million fortune may well be exhausted by a large number of personal injury claims being pursued by those who claim to have suffered sexual abuse at his hands.

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£489,000 Bequest to Charities Sparked Legal Marathon

Published on: 04 March 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

A woman whose mother bequeathed her entire £489,000 fortune to animal charities will have to be satisfied with ‘reasonable provision’ of £50,000 from the estate after the High Court rejected her plea that she should be granted half.

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Farming Company Sisters' High Court Schism

Published on: 16 February 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

Farming Company Sisters' High Court Schism

In a sad example of a family-orientated corporate structure proving anything but a panacea, the High Court has ordered the winding up of a farming company due to the inability of its directors – three sisters – to put aside their personal animosity in the company’s best interests.

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Supreme Court Cures Mirror Wills Blunder

Published on: 21 January 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

In an important case which marks a distinct liberalisation of the courts’ approach to the formalities of will writing, an adoptive son who was caught in a legal nightmare after his parents accidentally signed each other’s mirror wills has had his rightful inheritance upheld by the Supreme Court.

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‘Only Lawyers Benefit’ From Tragic Will Dispute

Published on: 01 January 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

The family of a widower who cut off his two sons and died leaving his life savings to his daughter and an elderly sister-in-law has been torn apart by a bitter legal battle between his children that ran up legal costs far in excess of the sums of money at stake.

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Supreme Court to Hear 'Wrong Will' Case

Published on: 07 December 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

The Supreme Court is now considering the arguments in the case in which an elderly couple's wills were deemed to be invalid because they has signed the wrong wills.

Despite the obvious error, the Court of Appeal ruled that the wills were not valid because they had not been correctly executed.

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Carer Ripped Off Distinguished Pensioner for £1.2 Million

Published on: 17 October 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

In a ringing warning to families that apparently trustworthy carers for sick relatives can be anything but, a ’dictatorial’ woman who ripped off a celebrated auctioneer who made his name orchestrating the sale of the Duchess of Windsor's jewellery is facing utter ruin after a judge ordered her to pay him back £1.2 million.

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Will Clarity Means Grandchildren Denied Inheritance

Published on: 05 September 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

When the wording of a will is clear, the likelihood of a challenge is much reduced and a recent case illustrates the point.

The will in question gave the testator’s (the word for the person who writes a will) estate to a woman’s the three children, but bore the words ‘as shall survive me and if more than one in equal shares absolutely’.

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Scientist’s Orphanage Wish Leads To Will Dispute

Published on: 03 September 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

An eminent scientist and inventor’s wish to endow a foundation to benefit orphans may be frustrated after his widow signed potentially conflicting wills, giving rise to venomous family wrangling and costly litigation on either side of the channel.

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‘Feckless’ Son Stripped of Power of Attorney

Published on: 23 July 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

A ‘feckless’ son who irresponsibly accepted a £72,000 gift from his frail and forgetful mother before spending the cash on a house renovation has been stripped of his lasting power of attorney over her property and financial affairs.

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Animal Charities Lose Out in Bitter Will Dispute

Published on: 02 July 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

Animal Charities Lose Out in Bitter Will Dispute

A retired policewoman and animal lover may have been a bit confused in her final years, but she knew what she was doing when she gave her £350,000 home to the nephew who cared for her, the High Court has ruled.

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Daughter Entitled to Fair Share of £7 Million Family Farm

Published on: 07 May 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

Daughter Entitled to Fair Share of £7 Million Family Farm

A farmer's daughter who claimed that she was left at home 'with a muck fork' whilst her teenage sisters went dancing has triumphed in her fight for a fair share of her elderly parents' thriving dairy farm, estimated to be worth £7 million.

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Autistic Litigant Received a Fair Hearing

Published on: 14 April 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

In the context of a case in which an autistic son challenged his father’s will, the Court of Appeal has given important guidance on the steps that should be taken to ensure that vulnerable litigants in person receive a fair hearing.

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Dementia Sufferer Capable of Executing £2 Million Will

Published on: 18 March 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

A businessman engaged in a marathon dispute with his siblings over their £2 million inheritance has failed to convince the Court of Appeal that his mother was so badly affected by dementia that she lacked the mental capacity to execute a valid will.

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Judge Urges ‘Bleak House’ Family to Compromise

Published on: 12 March 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

In a plot reminiscent of Charles Dickens' 'Bleak House', a judge has warned that a costly family dispute over the will of a successful property entrepreneur could see every penny of his fortune being eaten up by legal costs.

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Window Cleaner Stripped of £300,000 Inheritance

Published on: 09 March 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

A nephew whose ‘curmudgeonly’ aunt left her entire £300,000 fortune to her window cleaner has been handed back his inheritance after convincing the High Court that she lacked the necessary legal capacity to execute a valid will.

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Gardener Stripped of Lasting Power of Attorney

Published on: 19 February 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

In a highly unusual move, the Court of Protection has stripped a former gardener of his lasting power of attorney (LPA) over a mentally impaired pensioner’s property and financial affairs after he ‘gifted himself’ £38,000 from her savings.

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British National Party Defeated in £389,000 Will Dispute

Published on: 30 January 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

In a case which threw up novel issues relating to wills and foreign donations to UK political parties, the British National Party (BNP) found itself in legal hot water after failing to convince the High Court that it was entitled to inherit £389,000 left to it by a British national who had lived abroad for almost 20 years.

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Beloved Sheep Trigger Property Dispute

Published on: 06 January 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

Beloved Sheep Trigger Property Dispute

An animal lover's legal campaign to secure a return home for what remains of a prize flock of sheep bequeathed to him by a 93-year-old friend has been brought to a sad end by the Court of Appeal.

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Patriarch’s Succession Planning Triggers Ruinous Family War

Published on: 16 December 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

Patriarch’s Succession Planning Triggers Ruinous Family War

In a thought-provoking example of the best laid succession plans leading to grave and unforeseen consequences, a landowner’s lifelong obsession with avoiding ‘ruinous taxation’ was the root cause of a venomous dispute that tore apart his family after his death.

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Post-Mortem Vigilance Failed to Defuse Family Dispute

Published on: 28 October 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

A widow who hesitated for more than six years before taking legal action, despite her conviction that her wealthy husband had not made reasonable financial provision for her in his will, has paid a heavy price after the Court of Appeal ruled that her claim had rightly been dismissed on grounds of delay.

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Undue Influence Blocks Carer’s Right to Estate

Published on: 17 September 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

A carer who received properties gifted to her by a man in his 60s who was in poor health and subsequently who stood to inherit his estate under a will he made has seen the County Court set aside the gifts and rule dthe will invalid.

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Daughter Cut Out of Will Has Inheritance Restored

Published on: 01 September 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

In a case which vividly illustrates the power of the law to protect the vulnerable and sick, a woman who was cut out of her seriously ill father's substantial estate after he fell prey to a friend’s undue influence, and developed an irrational conviction that she was not his daughter, has had her inheritance restored.

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