There are various ways of contesting a will. One of these, as seen in the case of Royal National Institute for Deaf People and others v Turner EWHC 3301, is over the lack of proper formalities.
One of the formalities, stipulated by section 9 of the Wills Act 1837, is that, in order to be valid, a will must be signed by the testator in the presence... Read More
A spousal bypass trust is effectively a pilot trust, set up by a settlor in his or her lifetime, to benefit their surviving spouse after death. The policy funds (a lump sum) are placed in trust upon the settlor’s death. It is usually set up so that a surviving spouse receives benefits from a pension scheme, with its aim being to... Read More
When Patrick Crawley, the heir presumptive to the fictitious Downton Abbey, perished during the sinking of the Titanic, he initiated one of the most popular on-screen romances of the 21st century. His death meant that the titles of the Earl of Grantham and the estate of Downton passed to a distant cousin, Matthew Crawley, much to the ire of... Read More
The celebrated painter Lucian Freud stated in his 1954 article ‘Some Thoughts on Painting’: "Whether it will convince or not, depends entirely on what it is in itself, what is there to be seen". However, following the artist’s death in July 2011, it would appear that it was not just Freud’s artwork which lay... Read More
In the event that a Lasting Power of Attorney or Enduring Power of Attorney is not set in place for a mentally incapacitated individual, a deputy will be appointed by the Court of Protection to look after their property and financial affairs and welfare. The Mental Capacity Act 2005 provides guidelines for a deputy in their appointment. A... Read More
Drawing up a will is always a delicate process and how you choose to divide your assets is often viewed as a sign of your true feelings towards family and friends. It also throws up some surprises. The case of Sharp and Hutchins EWHC 1240 (Ch) is a prime example of such a surprise. In this case Ronald Butcher, a man in his... Read More
The Coalition Government has decided not to increase the inheritance tax (IHT) exemption thresholds before the general election in May. However, at the weekend the Conservatives announced that they will, if elected, extend the inheritance tax free allowance to the family home up to £1 million.
The Conservative manifesto for the 2010 election... Read More
"Crazy people are considered mad by the rest of society only because their intelligence isn’t understood" -Weihui Zhou, Shanghai Baby. Society’s definition of 'madness' can differ from the legal definition. This has been shown once again by two recent cases. Kicks and another v Leigh EWHC 3926 (Ch) and Walker v... Read More
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