Edward VIII’s will ‘can be opened’ says President

November 17, 2017 0 comments

wills and probate

The envelope containing the will of late monarch Edward VIII can be unsealed, Family Division President Sir James Munby has ruled. Edward VIII was King of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth for less than a year before famously abdicating in December 1936. His desire to marry American divorcée Wallis Simpson was considered unacceptable according…

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Aristocratic heir disputing father’s will with his widow

October 19, 2017 2 comments

wills and probate

English aristocrat the 9th Earl of Bathurst is embroiled in a dispute over his father’s will with his widowed stepmother. Henry, the 8th Earl of Bathurst, divorced the mother of his three children in 1976. He later remarried and his 89 year-old second wife, Gloria, now carries the title Dowager Countess Bathurst. When Henry died…

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Will and probate regulations ‘need modernisation’

July 13, 2017 1 comment

wills and probate

Wills and probate law is out of date and needs to be modernised the Law Commission has claimed. The Commission is an independent body tasked with reviewing legislation and recommending reform where necessary. Its review of wills legislation has now reached public consultation stage. Modern wills law dates back to the Victorian era, the Commission…

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Probate fee increase dropped ahead of election

April 21, 2017 0 comments

family law

A proposed increase in administration fees for probate cases has been dropped ahead of this summer’s snap general election. The Ministry of Justice claims that there is not enough time for this legislation to make its way through Parliament before its dissolution in May. That was originally supposed to be the month that these changes…

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Bid to unseal royal will is ‘complete nonsense’

April 19, 2017 1 comment

family law

Sir James Munby has dismissed another attempt to unseal the will of the late Princess Margaret as “complete nonsense”. The President of the Family Division has previously rejected a similar bid from the same woman. Sitting at the Royal Courts of Justice, Sir James noted that the latest one included “a closely-spaced one page statement”…

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Bid to unseal Princess Margaret’s will fails

March 16, 2017 4 comments

family law

President of the Family Division Sir James Munby has rejected a bid to unseal the late Princess Margaret’s will. The younger sister of Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret died of a stroke in February 2002 at the age of 71. Her will was sealed in June of that year and its contents are not publicly…

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Supreme Court rules in favour of animal charities

March 15, 2017 2 comments

financial settlement

A long-running inheritance dispute reached its conclusion today when the Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favour of three animal charities. The case concerned Mrs Heather Ilott, who was estranged from her late mother for much of her life, ever since she left home at the age of 17. When the mother eventually died, she left…

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A stealth tax on bereaved families

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March 8, 2017 0 comments

family law

This week the government announced that from May 2017 they will be reforming their fees for all Grant of Probate applications despite receiving a majority opposition to their proposals. Indeed many have criticised their plans as a ‘stealth tax on bereaved families’ and it is interesting to note that whilst there has been much focus…

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