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Wills & Probate

Businessman leaves millions to Oxfam under ‘common tragedy’

A wealthy businessman has left millions to the charity Oxfam after inserting a common tragedy clause into his will. Richard Cousins died along with his two sons, his fiancé and her daughter when their plane crashed in Australia on New Year’s Eve. Mr Cousins, who was the chief executive of the Compass Group, had made provision in his will for what should happened if all his immediate family died in …Read More

Brothers in dispute over house left in their mother’s will

The High Court has settled a dispute between two brothers after one accused the other of using undue influence to persuade their mother to leave him her house in her will. The case involved an elderly woman who moved in with her son after her husband died.  However, she later wanted to move back to her own home in Cornwall. The house needed significant repairs, so she decided to transfer …Read More

Three sisters win dispute over their father’s will

Three sisters have won a dispute with their father’s widow over the validity his will, which he made shortly before he died. The case involved a man who lived in Grenada with his second wife. In 2014, he had visited England to see his three daughters from his previous marriage. While he was there he executed a will. He then returned to Grenada where he died aged 74, leaving property …Read More

Family can’t make a claim on their stepmother’s estate

A family have been told they cannot make a claim on their stepmother’s estate following the death of her husband. The case involved a couple who died within a few months of each other. The wife had an estate worth more than £26m, while the husband’s estate was valued at £320,000. Both partners had children from previous marriages. The wife died in 2014, leaving her husband £150,000. The husband could …Read More

Increases to probate application fees postponed until after the election

The government has postponed its proposed increases in probate application fees because there won’t be time to introduce them before the coming election. Ministers hope to go ahead with the changes later this year despite strong opposition from lawyers, charities and the public. Under the current fee structure, fees for grants of probate are set at £155 if the process is handled by a solicitor and £215 if handled directly …Read More

Woman removed as executor of her father’s will

A woman has lost her appeal against being removed as an executor of her father’s will following a dispute with her brother. The case involved a father who died in 2008. He was survived by his daughter and son who were the executors and beneficiaries of his will. There were difficulties between the two of them and by February 2013, there had been no grant of probate – the process …Read More

Court rejects woman’s bid to administer her late mother’s estate

A woman has failed to have herself appointed as the administrator of her late mother’s estate because the High Court considered that she was untrustworthy. A man claiming to be the deceased’s husband was also rejected as an administrator with the court preferring to appoint someone independent from outside the family. The case involved a woman who died intestate, that is, without having made a will. Her daughter and a …Read More