Cutting a long story short: Reform of witness evidence in the Business & Property Courts
Our clients’ father, Mr F, died in 2003. His Will left his estate to his second wife, SW, on trust for her life, and thereafter on trust to our clients (the children of Mr F’s first marriage). SW died in 2009. The bulk of her estate passed to her niece (Ms N). SW’s estate was said to include properties she had owned jointly with Mr F, which passed to her as the surviving joint tenant (and so therefore did not form part of our clients’ entitlement on SW’s death).
Our clients alleged that a constructive trust arose, in that the properties involved were held beneficially as tenants-in-common, and therefore Mr F’s interest passed to SW under the terms of his Will rather than survivorship (such that that interest then passed to our clients’ on SW’s death).
Eventually, we helped our clients negotiate a settlement with Ms N at mediation, which resulted in them receiving an agreed share in SW’s estate, as well as the remainder of F’s estate.
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