- Trusts, including claims under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996.
- Inheritance Act disputes.
- Contentious and Non-Contentious Probate
- Claims in which fraud, duress or undue influence are an alleged or possible feature.
Cases of interest:
Murphy v. Munir (2021) EWHC 279 (Ch.)
Three deeds were executed by a bankrupt, all purporting to create trusts of various properties in favour of his family members.
The court granted declarations that these three deeds were shams.
The court found the deeds were never intended to have effect. The properties had therefore vested in the trustees in bankruptcy.
Tachi v. Woodward (2018) EWHC 2519
A claimant in a probate claim scheduled for trial made a late application for permission to file and serve amended particulars of claim and to serve out of time two further witness statements.
The claimant sought to include a claim testamentary undue influence.
This was allowed. The court found that the application had been prompted by the relatively recent receipt of medical records. Though the existence of these could have been established earlier, the balance of injustice came down in favour of allowing the amendments.
Our team are regularly instructed by beneficiaries, executors and trustees, and other interested parties. We advise at all stages of a matter, regularly giving initial tactical advice, assisting in settlement meetings (including ADR) and representing at court.
Inchbald v. Inchbald (2017) EWHC 616 (Ch)
The court had upheld a claim to prove a will. A challenge on the grounds of want of knowledge and approval of the will on the part of the deceased was dismissed.
The court had to determine the issue of costs. The court noted that if a party who unsuccessfully challenged a will did so on sufficient and reasonable grounds, they may be relieved from paying the costs of their successful opponent.
However, the key question was one of reasonableness. Here, the party in question did not act reasonably and therefore could not benefit from this exception to the usual rules on costs