Statutory will cases

The old category structure used on this page is comprehensive as it contains every relevant case. The new database structure was introduced in 2019. It is more potentially useful than the old categorisation system: it includes all cases since January 2018, but only a minority of older cases: see Special:Drilldown/Cases. The pages below are initially ordered according to the dates on which they were added to the site (most recent first). The order can be changed by clicking on the symbol beside a column heading: click on the symbol beside "Page and summary" for alphabetical order; click beside "Categories" for the order in which the cases were reported. Click on the arrow symbol again to reverse the order. Click on a page name to view the relevant page. Asterisks mark those cases which have been added to the new database structure.

Case and summary Date added Categories
* Settlement of property on trust LCN v KF [2019] EWCOP 1"This is an application under section 18(1)(h) of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 for the settlement of CJF's property on trust. ... By the time of the hearing it was expected that CJF would die in a matter of days. As noted earlier in this judgement, CJF died the following week. ... LCN [CJF's deputy] made an application on 20th November 2018 for the settlement of CJF's assets including his property at 1AY on revocable trust for himself during his lifetime and thereafter for 1AY to pass to EH [CFJ's daughter] and AH [EH's husband] and the residue of CJF's estate to pass to KF [CFJ's mother]. ... By the rules of intestacy, CJF's estate would be divided equally between KF and CJF's biological father, stated by KF to be BJF. This is subject to section 18 of the Family Law Reform Act 1987 which raises a rebuttable presumption that BJF pre-deceased CJF as his name did not appear on CJF's birth certificate. KF was able to contact BJF, but only through social media. That contact was sufficient, in my view, to rebut the presumption. If the court did not approve the settlement of CJF's property, it would be divided equally between KF and BJF with nothing passing to EH and AH. It would be open to EH and AH to make an application under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, but the outcome of such an application was uncertain. ... In this case, I consider that there were exceptional circumstance justifying proceeding without BJF being notified. These circumstances were his complete lack of involvement in CJF's life and care and his denial of paternity. There was a genuine urgency and balancing the prejudice of proceeding in the absence of BJF with the prejudice to EH and AH of not proceeding, I considered that the hearing had to take place despite the lack of service on BJF. It was agreed between the parties, and I ordered, that attempts should be made after the hearing to locate BJF and serve him with a copy of the final order so that it would be open to him to apply to set aside or vary it. ... The parties agree, and I find, that the authorities on the making of a statutory will apply to the settlement of CJF's estate in this case. I was advised by Miss Hughes that between 1925 and 1959 the Court had no power to make a statutory will and so would have approved settlement trusts as an alternative. ... All agreed that 1AY should pass to EH and AH and that the residue of the estate should pass to KF. I take that agreement into account and see no reason to depart from it. ... The question remains whether AH and EH should be effectively liable for some of the Inheritance Tax liability or whether the liability should all be borne by the estate, and in effect KF. ... I do not consider that it would be in CJF's best interests for there to be any risk to the security and stability of EH's and AH's home and therefore I consider that they should inherit 1AY effectively free of Inheritance Tax." 2019‑02‑05 13:34:25 2019 cases, Cases, Judgment available on Bailii, Statutory will cases

NT v FS [2013] EWHC 684 (COP), [2013] MHLO 18 — "This is an application by NT ("the Deputy") for authority to execute a statutory will on behalf of FS ("F"). There is no dispute that F lacks the capacity to make such a will. There is equally no dispute that it is in his best interests that such a will be made. There are a large number of Respondents to the application each of whom are potential beneficiaries under such a will. There are, however significant disputes between them as to the provisions of such a will." 2013‑03‑26 23:12:39 2013 cases, Judgment available on Bailii, No summary, Statutory will cases, Transcript

Re JC; D v JC [2012] MHLO 35 (COP)JC's daughter D, who had been conceived following a post-marital rape of JC’s ex-wife and adopted by other parents very shortly after her birth, and who had never met or had any contact with JC, sought a statutory will giving her an equal share JC's £3.5m estate alongside his other children (A, B and C). (1) The criterion now for making statutory wills on behalf of adults who lack testamentary capacity is what is in their best interests rather than substituted judgment; however, best interests contains a strong element of substituted judgment. (2) The value of the 'balance sheet' approach is of doubtful effectiveness in statutory will applications, and in this case it was a struggle to identify benefits or disbenefits, but usually there is at least one factor of 'magnetic importance'. (3) In this case, the idea of being remembered with affection for having done the 'right thing' was of no assistance: 'JC has an appalling track record. He has spent his entire lifetime doing precisely "the wrong thing" in his relationships with others, and his malevolence is such that he would rejoice at being remembered by them with disaffection.' (4) A substituted judgment approach would lead to JC dying intestate, but it was in his best interests to make a will in order to appoint independent professional executors who are familiar with the background and can provide continuity in the administration of his estate before and after his death. (5) JC had poor relationships with his other children, but none at all with D: this factor was of 'magnetic importance' so the statutory will would be in favour of A, B and C only. (6) A, B and C would be allowed to decide the devolution of their shares of the estate if any of them predeceased JC, as it was unlikely that they would want their shares to go to each other. (7) The normal rule on costs (that in property and affairs cases the costs be paid by P) was not departed from. 2012‑04‑28 16:56:13 2012 cases, Brief summary, Judgment available on MHLO, Neutral citation unknown or not applicable, Statutory will cases, Transcript

Re D (Statutory Will); VAC v JAD [2010] EWHC 2159 (Ch)(1) There is no presumption that the Court of Protection should not direct the execution of a statutory will in any case where the validity of an earlier will is in dispute. Such an approach would tend to elevate one factor (a previous written statement) over all others, contrary to the structured decision-making process required by the MCA 2005. (2) On the facts, the doubts about the validity of the previous wills were sufficient to conclude that D's best interests would be served by the execution of a statutory will to prevent her estate being eroded, and her memory being tainted, by a bitter contested probate dispute. 2010‑08‑17 22:05:30 2010 cases, Brief summary, Judgment available on Bailii, Statutory will cases, Transcript

Re M; ITW v Z [2009] EWHC 2525 (Fam) — Statutory will case. 2009‑10‑19 22:02:43 2009 cases, Brief summary, Judgment available on Bailii, Statutory will cases, Transcript

G v Official Solicitor [2006] EWCA Civ 816When considering a statutory will, the function of the court is to do for the patient what the patient would fairly do for herself, if she could and acting with the benefit of advice from a competent solicitor; on the facts, including the family disputes, she would have appointed the independent receiver as executor of her estate. [Caution.] 2009‑04‑12 21:47:50 2006 cases, Brief summary, Judgment available on Bailii, Statutory will cases, Transcript

Re P [2009] EWHC 163 (Ch)The Court of Protection is not bound by the substituted judgment approach from the previous legislation, including the Mental Health Acts 1959 and 1983, but must apply the Mental Capacity Act 2005 best interests approach (the general philosophy of which is discussed) 2009‑02‑11 01:13:49 2009 cases, Detailed summary, ICLR summary, Judgment available on Bailii, Statutory will cases, Transcript