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Disputed Wills, Trusts and Estates Bulletin - December 2016

How to administer a legacy to charity

When someone has chosen to remember a Charity in their Will it is most likely because they wanted to benefit a cause close to their heart. When it then comes to administering their Estate, it is important to make sure that the administration is as smooth and tax efficient as possible to maximise the benefit to the Charity and to fulfil the deceased's wishes.

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Ames v Jones 2016 - Claimant's choice not to work proved fatal to her Inheritance Act claim

In the recent case of Ames v Jones 2016 a daughter's claim for reasonable financial provision from her late father’s estate was dismissed on the grounds that her lack of employment was a "lifestyle choice".

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Moore v Moore & Till Valley Contracting Limited 2016

In the recent case of Moore v Moore & Till Valley Contracting Limited 2016, the son of a mentally incapacitated farmer persuaded the High Court that the family farm had been promised to him many years ago and was therefore awarded his father's interest in the farming business by virtue of the doctrine of proprietary estoppel.

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Breach of Trust and the defences available

Trustees are jointly and severally liable for breach of trust to their beneficiaries where that breach has led to a loss to the trust fund.

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The executor's role in claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975

A claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975 ('the 1975 Act') is not a hostile claim against the estate; rather it is a claim concerning the division of the net estate. An executor owes fiduciary duties to the beneficiaries of the estate, whoever they turn out to be, and thus in claims under the 1975 Act executors are expected to adopt a neutral stance.

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