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Wharton Vs Bancroft: Death-bed, Wills & Legal Costs

Summary: The recent court case of Wharton v Bancroft [2011] EWHC 3250 (Ch) emphasises the need to be wary when challenging a Will. Although contentious probate claims will often be emotionally charged, this case illustrates that it is important for both clients and solicitors to put aside personal issues which might impact on their decision-making and to approach such cases dispassionately and proportionately. A failure to approach such cases appropriately can, as happened in this case, lead to significant cost liabilities for unsuccessful parties.

The case also serves as a reminder to practitioners who are involved in making a death-bed Will as to the requirements for ensuring the testator has the requisite mental capacity to make a Will, one of the so called “Golden Rules”.

Please speak to Richard Monkcom, Head of Druces LLP’s Private Client team for more information. A pdf of our full briefing note on the subject can be downloaded via the link below.

Relevant to: Individuals who are seeking to challenge the terms of a Will and Legal Practitioners