Recent Case Law

October 09, 2018

Wills and Probate

Recent Case Law

Gestrust SA -v- sixteen defendants [2016] EWHC 3067 (Ch)

A trustee was entitled, through two nominee companies, to the entire share capital of A Limited.  The trust had been created by a builder and developer, who had settled a valuable portfolio of residential properties which was now held either by A Limited or its wholly owned subsidiary.  The principle issue for the Court to decide in this case was whether the properties in the portfolio could properly be regarded as if they were assets of the trust, following a recent decision on the High Court of the Isle of Man.  The Court decided that there were no grounds for treating the property portfolio as if it were an asset of the trust – it could not be described as a sham; no one had argued that the company held the portfolio on bare trust for the trustee and no one had argued that there were any grounds or basis for piercing the corporate veil.  The assets of the trust were shares and one had to apply the duty of a corporate trustee in relation to those assets in accordance with the decision in Bartlett -v- Barclays Bank Trust Company Limited.

Payne & Payne -v- Payne [2018] EWCA Civ 985

This case concerned the formalities for the execution of a Will with particular reference to what is required by way of attestation from the witnesses.  On the facts of the case, the testator used an out of date stationer’s form of Will and the witnesses merely subscribed (without signing) their names underneath the signature of the testator.  It was held that this was a sufficient form of attestation under the law which was in place before the Wills Act 1837 was amended by the Administration & Justice Act 1982.  

posted by Christopher Parker | October 09 2018