fbpx

Informal Agreement Leads Family to Court of Appeal

22nd August 2019 By Arman Khosravi

Disputes within families are very common indeed and one of the issues the courts see over and over again is where there is a family ‘understanding’ that ends in a disagreement.

In a recent case, the result of one such dispute is that an 82-year-old woman will be forced to sell the home she has lived in for decades.

Many such cases involve farming businesses. These traditionally pass down from generation to generation, and often one child will work on the farm for many years with the others moving away. It is commonplace in such circumstances for the business to be passed on to the child who has farmed the land. Such was the case in this instance.

The family farm is worth in the region of £4 million and was farmed by a couple for more than 40 years. One of their four children remained at home and worked the farm with her parents for little pay. When her father died in 2014, his will passed his entire estate across to the mother. However, the daughter claimed she had been promised that she would inherit the farming business, which in any event could not be carried on by her mother.

The daughter was awarded more than £1 million of the value of the farm, a sum that would force her mother to sell her house and farmland.

The mother appealed that decision, arguing that she and her husband had offered to sell the farm to their daughter years ago, but she had turned them down. However, the Court of Appeal would not accept that the rejected offer and the promise to pass the business on were related. The promise made by the couple had to be honoured: the appeal was dismissed.

Source: Concious

Latest News

Award That Requires Borrowing Made Into Court Order

17th May, 2024 By

Disagreements between separating couples all too often result in litigation that substantially reduces the assets available to them, as was illustrated by a case that recently reached the High Court. At issue was whether awards made by arbitrators in financial remedy proceedings can be made into court orders even if that would require one of the parties to borrow money. The couple had previously had a relationship lasting a few years before resuming their relationship in 2015. They had two children before separating again in 2019. Following their separation, the...

Inheritance Disputes – Costs Risks Can Be Reduced

15th May, 2024 By

Arguments about what someone promised before their death can lead to significant legal costs. However, if faced with a claim against the estate, there may be steps the beneficiaries or executors can take to reduce the risks, as a recent High Court case illustrated. A man had left a farmhouse and agricultural land in Cornwall to his wife, with whom he had also jointly owned a neighbouring area of land. After his death, one of the couple's daughters and her husband claimed that he had told them he wanted them...

Share Rounding Error Does Not Prevent CGT Relief

13th May, 2024 By

There are often very specific rules that must be complied with in order to claim tax reliefs, but if a small mistake arises, the courts may be able to provide assistance. In a recent case, the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) found that an investor was entitled to Entrepreneurs' Relief on the disposal of his shares in a company, despite owning one share fewer than he needed to qualify for it. The investor had agreed to purchase 5 per cent of the shares in the company for £500,000. He wished to own...

Wife Entitled to Maintenance Until Sale of Family Home

10th May, 2024 By

When divorcing couples disagree on how assets should be divided, the courts will seek to arrive at a fair outcome for both parties. In deciding how the proceeds of sale of a former couple's home should be apportioned, the Family Court agreed with the wife that she should receive maintenance payments until the sale took place. The couple had married in 2006. Following a brief separation, they had reconciled for two years before finally separating in 2022. The husband and wife both contended that they should be entitled to about...