Wills, trusts and inheritance disputes

11 January 2022

Is the pandemic the perfect storm for will challenges?

A will can be contested on the basis that it is invalid by relying on various grounds. It is fast becoming apparent that sadly the pandemic may have given rise to the perfect storm for will challenges on one or more of these grounds.
Katherine Pymont

22 October 2021

Claimants given costs boost in inheritance disputes – Hirachand v Hirachand

The Court of Appeal has recently handed down its judgment in the case of Hirachand v Hirachand, concerning an appeal against an order made in May 2020 in proceedings brought by Sheila Hirachand for provision from the estate of Navinchandra Hirachand, her late father, under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (“the 1975 Act”).

Kate Salter

13 October 2021

Actor Terry Jones’ children challenge his Will - but does suffering from dementia mean you can’t make a valid Will?

Several stories have recently been published about the ‘legal battle’ commenced in the High Court relating to the estate of actor Terry Jones, who was well known and loved for his role in Monty Python and who died in January 2020. His adult children from his first marriage have reportedly commenced proceedings against their father’s estate and his second wife Anna Söderström (who is thought to be the main beneficiary of the estate), claiming that the Will their father made in 2016 is invalid because he lacked capacity when he made it. As a matter of law, a Will made by someone who lacks the required mental capacity at the time they made the Will is not valid. 
 

 

Kate Salter

30 September 2021

Why the date of death matters for creditors of insolvent estates

Death does not release an individual from their debts and liabilities, nor does it allow transactions made to loved ones to escape challenge. This is so regardless of whether the transactions were made with the intention to defraud creditors.

Emily Greig

28 June 2021

Spotlight on dementia: can you challenge a will despite the views of medical experts?

Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, has been in the spotlight recently given a recent scientific breakthrough with the US approving the first new Alzheimer’s drug in 20 years. Light has also been shed on dementia and assessing testamentary capacity in the recent case of Hughes v Pritchard [2021] EWHC 1580 Ch. In this case, Mr Hughes, who suffered from moderately severe dementia was nevertheless deemed to have capacity at the time of amending his will by his GP, a view supported by a joint medical expert later instructed in the case. Despite this, his will was overturned by the judge on the basis that he did not have the requisite capacity to make the changes to his previous will, which were much more significant than the medical professionals, and indeed Mr Hughes, had appreciated.

Emily Greig

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