Archive for April, 2011

The public are being warned to beware of fake e-mails purporting to come from probate research companies offering to trace their entitlement to unclaimed estates.

If you have received an email from a Genealogist Company you can contact WE Solicitors, Ivy Mill Crown Street Failsworth Manchester for further advice. An initial half hour consultation is free. Please contact Jo-Ann Mason on 0161 683 3191

Dying Matters has published a Put your House in Order leaflet which aims to prompt people to address the problems associated with lack of planning for end of life. So many people fail to address these issues due to lack of forethought, fear and an unwillingness to talk openly about dying and death


– From the Solicitors Journal

The decision in Hope v Knight [2010] EWHC 3443 (Ch) is the most recent reported case under the Inheritance Act 1975. The judge dismissed the claims of an estranged wife and a daughter suffering from disability. The couple separated almost 20 years before the testator husband died and had entered into a written separation agreement to deal with their financial affairs. This provided capital provision for the wife and maintenance for the daughter. Following their separation, the testator husband  began a new relationship which lasted almost 20 years, until his death. In his will he left everything to his new partner and nothing to his spouse or daughter.

Neither the wife, daughter or partner were particularly wealthy but none of them were obviously unable to provide for themselves. The main factors that appear to have swung the judge towards rejecting the claims were:

  • The separation agreement executed in 1991 had given the testator a legitimate belief that he had fulfilled his financial obligations to the wife and daughter, and an expectation that his remaining assets were his to deal with as he wished.
  • The testator’s main asset – a house worth £450,000 – had been his partner’s home for years and she had looked after it.
  • The length of time that had passed since the testator and his wife divided their assets by agreement.

The daughter’s claim failed, even though she suffered from intermittent depression and obsessive compulsive disorder. The judge said: “I acknowledge that Laura (the daughter) has an aspiration to live in her own place, but that is only likely to come about if her financial position improves significantly. It is not the object of the 1975 Act to bring about such an improvement.

A parent is under no general obligation to house an adult child and does not come under one at death.”

This case is likely to be of relevance in today’s complicated family situations. The judge’s comment about housing and adult children is particularly helpful to those sorts of claims.

At  WE Solicitors we can advice you about making a Will, paricularlty if you have children from a first marriage and now have a new partner or spouse. We can discuss the options open to you to protect your children from a first marriage whilst also protecting your second partner and their children.

If you do not have a Will in these circumstances the consqeucnes can be disatruos and very costly.

Contact WE Solicitors, Ivy Mill Crown Street Failsworth manchester M35 9BG

Telephone 0800 294 306 or email