Contentious Trusts and Probate Monthly Round-Up: October 2016

3 November 2016

Danielle Ames v (1) Geoffrey John Jones (2) Androulla Pallikarou (3) Elaine Ames

Significant press coverage followed Mr Justice Halpern QC’s decision that an adult child’s Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (“the Act”) claim against her late father’s estate had failed having concluded that “her lack of employment [was] a lifestyle choice. That alone is sufficient to defeat her claim”.  Mr Justice Halpern QC noted that the mere fact an adult applicant is a child of the deceased is unlikely to be given much weight, and in practice they are unlikely to succeed, unless it can be demonstrated that the balance comes down in their favour when considering all of the factors under section 3 of the Act. For more detail on this case see “Adult child’s claim in respect of her father’s estate fails”.

(1)Philip Thomas Baker (2) Raymond William Preedy v (1) Jonathan Anthony Dunne (2) Sarah Fenton (3) Peter Lee Dunne [2016]

The High Court has determined that the trustees under a will trust were authorised to obtain vacant possession of a pub which was the principal asset of the trust. The first defendant, a child of the deceased and a beneficiary of the trust, had been running the pub as a business. The first defendant submitted that it would be a breach of trust for the trustees to seek vacant possession because the value of the premises would be increased by him remaining in possession and continuing to run the pub. Chief Master Marsh held that the defendant’s entitlement as a beneficiary of the trust created by his mother ranked equally alongside those of his siblings (also beneficiaries of the trust); he had never had an  any legal or personal interest in the pub.

Should you wish to discuss a disputed Will or Trust, please do not hesitate to contact our Wills, Trusts and Inheritance Disputes team.

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