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Disputed Wills and Trusts Bulletin April 2022

INHERITANCE ACT CLAIMS AND CONDITIONAL FEES

Higgins v Morgan & Ors [2021] EWHC 2846 (Ch) was a claim under section 1(1)(d) of the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 by an adult stepson of the deceased, who was treated as ‘a child of the family’. The court held that the deceased’s intestacy had not made reasonable financial provision for the claimant and that an award should be made from the estate. It also held that a proportion of the claimant’s conditional fee agreement (CFA) “success fee” could be paid to the claimant on the basis that his liability for this formed part of his ‘needs’ within the meaning of section 3(1)(a) of the Act.

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ATTORNEY’S POWER TO MAKE GIFTS - THE LIMITS OF A LASTING POWER OF ATTORNEY

The recent judgment in Chandler v Lombardi [2022] EWHC 22 (Ch) highlights the limits of an attorney’s authority to make gifts under a Lasting Power of Attorney (‘LPA’).

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SEVERING A JOINT TENANCY - DUNBABIN V DUNBABIN [2022]

In the recent case of Dunbabin & Ors v Dunbabin [2022] EWHC 241 (Ch), the Court had to determine whether a beneficial joint tenancy of a property had been severed.

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Update on Hughes v Pritchard [2022] EWCA Civ 386 – Clarification of the ‘Golden Rule’ when drafting a will

The recent Court of Appeal decision in the case of Hughes v Pritchard has provided guidance on the approach the Courts should take to will validity challenges based on testamentary capacity, on the weight to attach to a professionally made will and on the importance of following the Golden Rule.

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For more information on these articles, please contact our Disputed Wills and Trusts team.

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