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Ashfords' Disputed Wills and Trusts Bulletin - December 2021

Welcome to Ashfords' Disputed Wills and Trusts Bulletin.  

We aim to provide you with a roundup of the most interesting and relevant developments in the sector. We would be delighted to expand upon any area covered or if there is any particular topic you would like addressed please contact a member of the team by emailing willdisputes@ashfords.co.uk.

HUGHES V PRITCHARD [2021] EWHC 1580 (CH) – CLARIFICATION OF THE ‘GOLDEN RULE’

The recent case of Hughes v Pritchard [2021] EWHC 1580 (Ch) has outlined the importance of providing complete and comprehensive instructions to a health care professional tasked with providing a report on testamentary capacity in order to satisfy the “Golden Rule” when making a will.

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REMOTE WITNESSING OF WILLS – POTENTIAL FOR AN INCREASE IN WILL VALIDITY DISPUTES

The Wills Act 1837, which has been in place for nearly 200 years, requires that a Will must be signed by the testator in the presence of two witnesses who must also sign the Will in the testator’s presence.

The Coronavirus pandemic has prompted a huge increase in the number of people making or updating Wills but with social distancing measures and self-isolation to contend with, complying with this requirement had become challenging.

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ADULT CHILDREN 1975 ACT CLAIMS – THE LATEST CASE

Miles v Shearer [2021] EWCH 100 (Ch)

Following the infamous case of Illot v Mitson [2017], the Courts continue to hear claims by adult children under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. Despite Ms Illot’s success however, the reality remains that claims by adult children are notoriously difficult to bring.

One of the most recent cases before the court was Miles v Shearer [2021] in which the claimants, the only two adult children of the late Mr Shearer, were unsuccessful in their claims against his £2.2million estate, which resulted in them receiving nothing form the estate at all.

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For more information on the above please contact the Disputed Wills and Trusts team. If you would like to receive our bulletins on a regular basis, please click here.

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