Contested Wills & Estates - The Latest Case Law & Developments
Disputes about wills and the administration of estates are responsible for a regular flow of published judgments from the High Court, plus a larger number of cases that come to court but which either do not reach the stage of a written judgment at all or are transferred to the County Court where judgments are seldom published widely.
Since the start of 2020 there have been a number of developments in the law and practice in this area.
This virtual classroom seminar is intended primarily to focus on what can be learned from recent cases on issues that frequently arise in practice: challenges to the validity of wills, applications to remove personal representatives, and claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. Recent procedural developments and practical guidance will also be covered.
What You Will Learn
This live and interactive session will cover the following:
- The Wills Act 1837 (Electronic Communications) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Order 2020 and the changes made by it, with some retrospective effect, to the formality requirements for executing a valid will.
- The case of Sangha v Sangha and what is required for valid execution of a will where the testator and two witnesses do not all sign in the presence of the other two.
- Changes in the procedure relating to caveats and citations following the Non-Contentious Probate (Amendment) Rules 2020 and changes at the Principal Registry of the Family Division.
- The appeal decision in Re Clitheroe on the issue of whether the Banks v Goodfellow test continues to apply and on the issue of what amounts to an insane delusion.
- The case of Hughes v Pritchard in which a trial judge’s decision that a testator lacked capacity was successfully appealed, and what it shows about the role of expert evidence in disputes about testamentary capacity.
- On the subject of undue influence, the claims in Coles v Reynolds, Hughes v Hughes, Goodwin v Avison and Reeves v Drew and why they failed, and a comparison with the 2019 decision in Chin v Chin where an undue influence argument succeeded.
- On knowledge and approval, the challenge to the will in Reeves v Drew that was successful even though the undue influence argument was not.
- Whether and how practice direction CPR PD 57AC which came into effect in April 2021 will affect the approach to witness statement evidence in probate and estate disputes, despite not (yet) applying directly.
- The approach to a claim for removal of a personal representative taken in Schumacher v Clarke, and how it accords with the general practice of the High Court Masters and of judges in the County Court.
- The case of Hirachand v Hirachand involving a claim by an adult child under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, and what the Court of Appeal decision on the possibility of including CFA uplifts within the award may mean for this area of practice.
- The guidance published by the Law Society in July 2022, and what it says about Larke v Nugus requests and GDPR.
Recording of live sessions: Soon after the Learn Live session has taken place you will be able to go back and access the recording - should you wish to revisit the material discussed.