fbpx

This Is Why You Should Make a Will Whilst You're Still Hale and Hearty

19th June 2023 By

There are all sorts of good reasons why you should instruct a solicitor to draft your will whilst you are still hale and hearty. As a High Court case showed, waiting until you are old and vulnerable before performing that vital task is to positively invite dispute between your loved ones after you are gone.

The case concerned a widow who was in her 80s when she made a will leaving the lion’s share of her estate – which largely consisted of her home and farmland – to her daughter. In challenging the will’s validity following her death, one of her sons asserted that the daughter had taken advantage of her vulnerability and brought undue influence to bear upon her.

Ruling on the matter, the Court noted that, by the time she made her will, the widow was in failing health and had poor mobility. Her sight was deteriorating and she required help with many day-to-day tasks. The daughter, who lived with her, provided most of her care.

On the other hand, she was not wholly dependent on her daughter, who was not her sole beneficiary. The nuanced terms of the will sought to achieve a balance between all members of the family. It was drafted on her instructions by a highly experienced solicitor, who ensured that all legal formalities were complied with and who testified that he had no cause for concern that undue influence might be in play.

In ruling the will valid, the Court noted that she was referred to as ‘the boss’ within the family. Despite her vulnerability, she was a strong woman who knew her own mind and was in control of her own powers of decision-making. She was not someone who would be easily influenced by others and the Court was satisfied that her freedom of choice was not overborne by her daughter.

Source: Concious

Latest News

Challenge to Will's Validity Rejected by High Court

12th April, 2024 By

The best way to ensure your assets will be distributed as you wish is to have your will professionally drafted by a qualified solicitor. In a recent case, a challenge to the validity of an elderly man's will was dismissed by the High Court. The man had previously made a will in 2011, leaving most of his estate equally to his three children. In 2018, by which time one of his sons had predeceased him, he made a further will, leaving the residue of his estate to his other son...

Defiance of Family Court Orders Will Always End Badly

10th April, 2024 By

Custodial sentences very rarely come into play in the family courts. Where there have been repeated breaches of court orders, however, judges may have little choice but to clamp down. This was illustrated in the High Court during committal proceedings that stemmed from a child custody dispute. The background to the case involved contested proceedings between the father and mother of a young child. These concluded with a court order establishing that the child – a daughter – would live with the mother. Three months later the daughter travelled with...

Claim for SDLT Relief on Annex Unsuccessful

8th April, 2024 By

When buying a property consisting of more than one residence, it may be possible to claim multiple dwellings relief (MDR) against Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT). However, there are certain conditions that must be met for an MDR claim to succeed, as a recent case illustrates. A property was purchased for £1.8 million. Prior to the purchase, the buyer had agreed with the seller that he would be allowed to carry out works to construct a self-contained annex at the property. The buyer's SDLT return included a claim for MDR...

Divorce – Alleged Bigamy Raised in Financial Remedies Dispute

5th April, 2024 By

The issue of bigamy and its potential impact on a person's ability to seek financial remedies in a divorce came under the legal spotlight recently. A husband made an application to strike out his wife's financial remedies claim on the basis that she had committed bigamy and deceived him into a marriage when she knew she was not free to marry. This deceit, he claimed, was so egregious that, as a matter of public policy, she should be debarred from pursuing any claim for financial remedies against him. The husband based...