Vague Wording Voids Wishes

A recent estate dispute has rendered vague wording in a letter of wishes legally unenforceable.

The complex case of Taulbut v Davey [2018] EWHC 730 Ch concerned the estate of the deceased Pauline Wippell whose will had left several bequests and set up charitable trusts. At issue was whether a homemade manuscript letter of wishes had been incorporated into a homemade manuscript will and how to interpret these documents. The parties also pursued rival claims attempting to remove one another as executors.

Proprietary Estoppel: Reliance and detriment revisited

As an interesting contrast to our previous blogpost, the recent High Court case of Habberfield v Habberfield [2018] EWHC 317 (Ch) has seen a successful “proprietary estoppel” claim. The facts are in many respects classic proprietary estoppel material. Proprietary estoppel prevents the “unconscionable” denial of an interest in property. Such an interest arises where a claimant (this being the rare case of an estoppel that can be used as a claim and not just a defence) proves that they have acted to their detriment in reliance on a promise by the owner that they would receive a share of the property.

Intentions, promises, reliance, and capacity by Emile Yusupoff

The High Court has clarified matters relating to the legal concepts of proprietary estoppel and testamentary capacity in the case of James v James and others [2018] EWHC 43 (Ch). In short, proving that you are entitled to property on the basis of a promise and retrospectively showing that a will is invalid due to lack of capacity are both high hurdles

Where there’s a Will, there’s a way…

Where there’s a Will, there’s a way, or so the saying goes. But when 40% of adults don’t have a Will and the number of cases where Wills are contested climbing, the law around Wills and what happens to your estate when you die can be confusing and easier to ignore. The team here at Bridge Law have sat down to answer your questions.

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