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Trusts and Estates Law and Tax Journal: June 2012

In her second article, Catherine Paget looks at the consequences for family provision claims of the Law Commission’s recent report

This second article presents a review of the recommendations, in respect of family provision claims made by the Law Commission in their report on intestacy and family provision claims on death, published on 13 December 2011. 

Curtis v Pulbrook clarifies how the court treats imperfect gifts, as Tracey Angus reports

The decision of Briggs J in Curtis v Pulbrook [2011] clears up some of the uncertainty as to when the court will treat a gift that is imperfect at law as effective in equity that arose following the Court of Appeal’s decision in Pennington v Waine [2002]. 


Geoffrey Shindler advocates a common sense approach to risk

If there is one small English word that has come to dominate our lives in a manner inconceivable only a few years ago it is the word ‘risk’. Everything is now looked at through the prism of risk. We cannot open a file without considering all the risks that are entailed in carrying out what used to be a simple task and we certainly cannot sign off on any piece of work without considering all of the risks that we have assumed.

Michael Waterworth analyses a case that has lessons for those litigating over the validity of wills

The case of Cowderoy v Cranfield [2011] was a sad reflection on the way in which assumed family obligations contrast with the loneliness and isolation of old age. It was a case concerning the will of an elderly lady, whose nearest blood relative was a granddaughter who had little to do with her, who chose to make a will in favour of a man who was a virtual stranger at the time but who came to look after her as time went on.

Forsters LLP

Emily Exton and Katherine Harper provide an update on the Court of Appeal decision in Barrett v Bem

In January this year, the Court of Appeal set down its judgment on Barrett v Bem [2012], a bitter family legal battle that Lord Justice Lewison described as ‘troubling’.

Withers LLP

James Radcliffe explains how Pawson has changed tax treatment for furnished holiday lettings

The taxation of furnished holding letting accommodation (FHLs) has evolved at a rapid pace over recent years. Although the legislative changes have contributed to an erosion of historically favourable tax treatments afforded to FHLs, the recent inheritance tax case of Nicolette Vivian Pawson (deceased) v Revenue & Customs [2012] is a welcome victory for taxpayers and is likely to be sending shock waves around the corridors of HMRC. The judgment in this case offers an opportune moment to reflect on recent changes and to highlight how FHLs are likely to be treated going forwards. 

Khan v Crossland reveals flaws in the current method of passing over executors, as Michael O’Sullivan discusses

The decision in Khan v Crossland was made by HHJ Behrens sitting as a judge of the Chancery Division. The case concerned an application by the stepson of Dennis Griffiths (the deceased) to remove executors appointed by the deceased’s will. Because no grant of probate had been issued at the time when the dispute arose, the application was commenced under s116 of the Supreme Court Act 1981. That statute has subsequently been renamed the Senior Courts Act 1981. It will be referred to as s116 SCA. The case is of interest because the judge had to consider conflicting first-instance High Court decisions on the correct test to apply under the section.