Will and inheritance disputes

Controlling the fate of your estate

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The tragic death of businessman Richard Cousins and his family in a seaplane crash on New Year's Eve in 2017 re iterated the importance of including a "Disaster Scenario Clause" in your Will. A Disaster Scenario Clause allows you to state where you would like your estate to go if all your immediate family die at the same time as you. In the case of Richard Cousins, he named Oxfam to be his ultimate beneficiary, and they benefitted from his £41 million estate. More …

Selecting the right charity to support - and 'targeting' your legacy

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Now in its 9th year, the 'Remember A Charity Week' campaign is launching a new tool to help individuals discover charities whose work is close to their heart. More …

Successful Inheritance Act claim for perceived "lodger"

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Testamentary freedom, or a person's freedom to dispose of their property upon death as they see fit, is a fundamental principle of English and Welsh law. More …

The (Copy) right to Break the Royal Seal

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There was an interesting application to the Family Court recently for the purposes of releasing the will and codicil of HRH the Duke of Windsor from a sealed envelope for the purposes of copying the contents to confirm the copyright owner of the literary work contained within. More …

Where there is a Will, there is a way

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This week the Independent reported that a survey conducted by Macmillan Cancer Support of 2000 people showed that "nearly two thirds of UK adults don't have a Will" and more worryingly, that included 42% of over 55s. More …

What is fraudulent calumny?

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Fraudulent calumny is fraudulent misrepresentation made about an individual to a testator, for the purpose of inducing the testator to exclude that individual from any benefit in his Will. More …

Strange bequests in Wills and how legacies can be left 'open' to a charities choice

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Most Wills are pretty unexciting documents, but occasionally we hear of an odd bequest someone has made which provide a little more entertainment. Our expert explains the rights of a charity who have been left money for a specific purpose. More …

Charitable legacies – how deeds of variation can help make a bequest

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Leaving a legacy in your Will can be a thoughtful way to support a charity that has been important to you, and many charities rely heavily on legacies left in Wills for their survival. But if a loved one dies without leaving a legacy to a charity in their Will, is it too late? More …

Which charity would you choose to remember?

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Your university, school, or a cause close to your heart – If you were to leave a gift to charity in your Will, which charity would you choose? More …

Charities win at Supreme Court in claim against estate

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The Supreme Court has made a judgment on the case where Heather Ilott contested her mother's will after she left her entire estate to charities that she had no connection with. Here is an overview of the case. More …