Wills

Court Relieves Family of Severe Tax Consequences of Drafting Error

Trusts – Court Relieves Family of Severe Tax Consequences of Drafting Error

Trusts are delicate and often complex legal instruments and any flaws in the wording of documents relating to them can have grave tax and other consequences. As a High Court case showed, however, inadvertent drafting errors can be corrected. The case concerned two trusts of which a widow and her son, her only child, were trustees and beneficiaries. They contained assets worth over £700,000, including a half share in the widow’s home. By deeds of appointment, the son was granted life interests in both trust funds. The effect was that the funds were held on trust for him during his …

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Court of Appeal Rejects Tangential Attack on Will Dispute Judgment

Court of Appeal Rejects Tangential Attack on Will Dispute Judgment

Judges are wary of those who attempt to pull the wool over their eyes but, if a court judgment is obtained by fraud, it is very unlikely to survive an appeal. As a Court of Appeal ruling in the context of a bitter will dispute showed, however, allegations that justice has miscarried are easier to make than they are to prove. The case focused on two wills made by a businessman. His daughter and her family were favoured in the first will and one of his sons and his family in the second. After a trial, a judge ruled the …

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Why You Should Make A Will

No Spouse, Child or Other Dependant? You Should Still Make a Will

If you have no spouse, child or other dependant you might think there is little point in making a will. However, as a High Court case showed, any such an assumption would be seriously wrong if it takes no account of your wider family and the potential for conflict between them after you are gone. The case concerned one of 10 brothers, who had assets – principally in the form of a property portfolio – worth about £2 million but made no will before he died. Three of his nieces, acting as his personal representatives, set about liquidating his assets with …

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Brothers Battle It Out in Court After Their Mother Fails to Make a Will

Brothers Battle It Out in Court After Their Mother Fails to Make a Will

Failing to make a professionally drafted will is a positive invitation to family strife after you are gone. In one case, a spectacular falling out between two brothers could have been averted had their mother taken the time to consult a solicitor. The woman died intestate, with the result that her entire estate passed by default to her two sons equally. One of them moved into her home after she went into hospital and, subsequently, a nursing home. She never returned to the property and he remained living there after her death. Altogether, he enjoyed more than six years of …

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What Happens To Your Home If A Loved One Dies

Is Your Home Owned by a Loved One? What Happens if He or She Dies?

If your home is owned by a loved one you may feel secure, but you can be left in an extremely precarious position if he or she dies. As an instructive High Court ruling showed, however, the law is fully capable of coming to your aid if you received lifetime promises of a permanent roof over your head. The case concerned an overseas dignitary who had three wives. A property he owned in the UK had been occupied for over 30 years by one of them. She was not, however, bequeathed the property when he died. His son by another …

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Legacies and Entitlement to Means-Tested Benefits - High Court Ruling

Legacies and Entitlement to Means-Tested Benefits – High Court Ruling

When making a will, most people would wish to provide for loved ones in need. As a High Court case showed, however, means testing of many state benefits creates a very real risk of such good intentions coming to nought and that is one very good reason why professional will drafting is so important. The case concerned a woman aged 21 with autism and learning disabilities, who was left about £170,000 in her grandfather’s will, subject to her attaining the age of 25. On her receipt of that capital sum, she would lose her entitlement to means-tested benefits on which …

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