Court Decides How Injured Child's Estate Should Be Distributed

11th April 2019 By Alireza Nurbakhsh

It is not uncommon for children born with severe abnormalities or injuries to die in childhood. In a recent case, the Court of Protection was required to decide how to divide the estate of a child who died when the lump-sum compensation settlement for injuries he suffered at birth was still largely intact.

The boy was born when his mother was 18. His injuries meant that he would need care and around-the-clock supervision for the whole of his life. His mother, whose own health was permanently damaged by the birth, looked after him for the early part of his life, but he was then taken into foster care and a guardian over his affairs was appointed. His biological father denied paternity and played no part at all in the boy’s life.

His birth injuries had led to a claim against the NHS trust responsible for his delivery and that led to the settlement, which consisted of a six-figure lump sum and annual payments exceeding £80,000.

When his foster carer died, the fostering arrangement was transferred to other members of her family. They looked after the boy, regarding him as a member of the family, until he died when he was thirteen years old.

When he had only days to live, the family came to a provisional agreement as to how his estate should be dealt with, but the emotional upheaval at the time meant it was not put into effect by the creation of a statutory will.

His estate was valued at more than £600,000 and the Court of Protection was asked to decide how it should be distributed. The Court concluded that the boy would have always lacked the mental capacity to make a will. Were the rules of intestacy to apply, the child’s biological father would inherit half of his estate.

The decision of the Court was that the caring family should inherit the house that had been bought and modified for him to live in, free of Inheritance Tax, and that his mother should inherit the residue of his estate. His biological father received nothing.

Source: Concious

Latest News

Motor Insurers Not Liable for £2 Million Fire Damage

27th June, 2019 By Alireza Nurbakhsh

The law requires that the driver of any vehicle has a valid insurance policy that covers injury or damage to third parties caused by or arising out of the use of the vehicle on a road or in a public place. The Supreme Court has given authoritative guidance on the meaning of that phrase in a case of crucial importance to vehicle owners and the insurance industry. The case concerned an employee of an engineering firm, the owners of which allowed him to use the premises to do work on...

Ignore Court Orders At Your Peril

24th June, 2019 By Alireza Nurbakhsh

A wealthy Omani man who failed to pay to his ex-wife the financial settlement ordered by the court, or to cooperate with disclosure orders, faces arrest if he attempts to return to the UK. When the couple's marriage broke up, they were divorced under Omani law. However, the wife, a resident of the UK, sought and obtained orders in the UK court for financial relief (under Part III of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984) for herself and their children, who live with her. The divorce took place in 2017...

Failure to Challenge Repaving Results in Loss of Title

20th June, 2019 By Alireza Nurbakhsh

Failing to take active steps to protect your land from use by another can produce unfortunate effects, as a couple from York discovered recently. The couple own a bungalow which has a front driveway adjacent to that of the next-door bungalow – a common design. The two effectively blend into one before reaching the road. In 1986 their neighbour repaved her drive with new paving tiles and brick edging, and in so doing went across the boundary line between the two properties. She parked her car on the area and...

Just Because You Agree Doesn't Mean the Court Will

18th June, 2019 By Alireza Nurbakhsh

It is common in legal disputes for the two sides to agree to suspend the court proceedings for a period so that they can get as much agreed between them as possible, and gather their evidence and prepare their arguments over what remains in dispute without the pressure of an impending hearing date. Such an agreement is called a 'standstill agreement', and if proceedings are served in time it is usual for the court to agree to the requested hiatus. In a recent family law case, one of the UK's...