News

A salutary tale from the Courts

  • November 06, 2017
  • By Hunters Law

A sad case called British Red Cross v Werry [2017] was reported earlier this year. The facts of that case were that a couple (Peter and Patricia) had lived together as man and wife for around 45 years although they had never married. Peter died in 2008 and it was believed that he had not left a will. This meant that his estate, including the flat in which he and Patricia had lived together as a couple for decades, passed to his cousins and other family members under the statutory intestacy rules and unfortunately Patricia was not entitled to anything from his estate.

Faced with the prospect of potential eviction from her home, Patricia applied to the court for financial provision out of his estate. Ultimately she reached an agreement with Peter’s family that she should be allowed to have a life interest in the property, i.e. a right to continue living in the property rent-free for the rest of her life, and that agreement was finalised in a court order.

When Patricia died 6 years later, the property was cleared out and at that point an old Will was found which Peter had made in 1973 by which he gave the property outright to Patricia on his death.

The tragic fact about this case is that Patricia went to her grave believing that Peter had not made any financial provision for her. Furthermore, significant legal costs would have been incurred, firstly when Patricia took legal proceedings to claim financial provision out of Peter’s estate, and secondly to set aside the agreement Patricia had reached with the family which was based on the mistaken belief that Peter had not left a Will.

This case highlights the importance of making adequate arrangements for the safe and secure storage of your Will, and also the importance of telling your executors and/or your nearest and dearest (a) that you have made a Will and (b) where your Will is kept.

Hunters offers to all our clients the option to hold their Will in our safe storage at no extra charge as part of our Will making service.

Related News

Feb 09, 2021
Molly Wills discusses The Office of Tax Simplification’s First Report on Capital Gains Tax, in Private Client Business
Jan 06, 2021
Molly Wills discusses The Office of Tax Simplification’s review of Capital Gains Tax
Nov 30, 2020
Julia Richards examines section 33 of the Wills Act 1837 in WealthBriefing
Nov 13, 2020
Julia Richards examines section 33 of the Wills Act 1837 in the case of Re estate of Ellen Beatrice Brackstone [2020]
Oct 29, 2020
Julia Richards examines Section 33 of the Wills Act 1837
Oct 28, 2020
Daniel Watson examines Wills being witnessed remotely by video-link in Taxation
Sep 21, 2020
Hunters recognised as one of the 2020 eprivateclient Top Law Firms
Sep 04, 2020
Matthew Yates comments on video wills in the Financial Times
Aug 11, 2020
Daniel Watson examines the government’s newest legislation regarding Wills in Lawyer Monthly
Aug 04, 2020
Matthew Yates examines the recent change to the law of organ donation in England in STEP Journal

© Hunters Law LLP 2021 | Privacy NoticeLegal & Regulatory | Cookies Policy | Complaints Procedure.

Hunters Law LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (number 657218)

WARNING: Website falsely claiming to be Hunters Law

4 March 2021

The website 'hunterslawllp.com' is operating, falsely claiming to be Hunters Law. This website has been created to mirror the genuine site, although contact details including telephone number and email addresses have been changed, and the SRA verification badge does not work.

We have also been made aware of a series of faxes circulating, purporting to come from ‘barrister’ Dominik Opalinski, advising of an unclaimed inheritance of $16.95M, which feature the same website address. Dominik is a genuine partner of the firm, but is not a barrister.

We have reported this to the SRA, and contacted the website domain hosts to request its urgent removal. If you receive correspondence of a similar nature to that described, please contact us directly by reliable and established means.