Burton probate solicitors

Burton Probate Solicitors, McIntosh Fleming & Co, bill just £600 (VAT inclusive) to undertake the probate of the deceased’s estate, where the estate is valued at no more than £300,000. Written confirmation is available.

Most Burton solicitors will bill you much more as their bill is based on a hourly rate of £100-£200 and will involve more than 3 hrs work , or is based on a percentage of the value of the deceased’s estate . We believe we are one of the cheapest Burton probate solicitors.

Moreover we uniquely work at evenings and weekends , including home visits. We believe we are one of the easiest Burton probate solicitors to instruct.

You can instruct excellent Burton probate solicitors simply  by e-mailing gary@burton-lawyer.com  or by calling on free-phone (0800) 1712215.

Case study 1

Will – Class gift – Time of ascertainment of class – Gift to children of grandson living on the attainment of the age of twenty-one by the youngest of such children – Only one such child living at date of death of testatrix – Possibility of birth of further children – Rights of existing child.

Accumulation – Accumulation of income for excessive period – Accumulation directed for the benefit of a class – Interests of members of class contingent – Cesser of statutory period – Entitlement to surplus income – Rights on attainment of twenty-one of person having contingent interest – Direction to accumulate excluding statutory power of maintenance – Law of Property Act 1925 (15 & 16 Geo 5 c 20),s 164(1) (b) – Trustee Act 1925 (15 & 16 Geo 5 c 19), s 31(1) (ii), s 69(2).

 

Held – (i) D was not absolutely entitled to the special fund for the following reasons:—

(a) as a matter of construction of the codicil, the gift of the special fund was not limited to take effect on the attainment of the age of twenty-one by the youngest child of R living at date of the death of the testatrix.

(b) although the court leaned towards early vesting, the court had never applied that policy to permit the artificially early closing of a class of beneficiaries except where there was someone in existence who, on the natural construction of the language of the will, was entitled to a share absolutely vested in interest and possession although the quantum of the vested share was not known); and, on the construction of the codicil, D was entitled to no such share.

Kevern v Williams ((1832), 5 Sim 171) and Elliott v Elliott ((1841), 12 Sim 276) criticised and distinguished.

(ii) D was not entitled to receive the surplus income after the expiration of the permitted period of accumulation (viz, the period permitted by s 164(1)(b) of the Law of Property Act 1925), because

(a) his interest was contingent on his being alive when the youngest son of R attained the age of twenty-one, and, although the ultimate gift carried the intermediate income, this meant in the circumstances that it would (so far as lawful) be accumulated for the persons ultimately entitled to vested interest; and that was the case even assuming that D might himself prove to be the youngest child of R who attained twenty-one; and

(b) D could not claim the income by virtue of the Trustee Act 1925, s 31(1)(ii), because the express direction to accumulate income disclosed a “contrary intention” within s 69(2) of that Act and thus excluded s 31(1)(ii), and the fact that the direction to accumulate was partially invalidated by the Law of Property Act 1925, s 164, did not render s 31(1) (ii) applicable as from the date of the direction becoming invalid.

Re Turner’s Will Trusts ([1936] 2 All ER 1435) and Re Watt’s Will Trusts ([1936] 2 All ER 1555) applied.

(iii) on the true construction of the will and codicil the surplus income as from the date of the invalidity of the direction to accumulate it, must be held on the trusts of the will relating to the Wilson Ransome Trust Fund.

Case study 2

Trustees – Power – Power to appoint to himself – Power of disposition over trust property – Whether given as an individual or virtute office.

Wills – Construction – Disposal of residue by reference to settlement of even date – Unwitnessed memorandum of later date specifying dispositions under settlement – Subsequent codicils confirming will – Incorporation of memorandum in will.

Where a person is appointed by will or trust instrument to some fiduciary position and he is given the power of disposition over the trust property, it must be a question of construction in each particular case whether the power was given to him as an individual, or whether it was given to him virtute officii.

On 16 October 1936, T executed a settlement, and, on the same day, a will. By the settlement L “and the managing trustee or trustees for the time

[1947] 2 All ER 521 at 522

being of these presents [were thereinafter] referred to as the managing trustee.” The settlement directed the investment of the sum of £100 in “any investments which the managing trustee may … think fit as though he were beneficially entitled,” and that the trust fund and income should “be held upon trust to pay the income and to transfer the capital … in specie or otherwise to such persons … as the settlor shall by any memorandum under his hand direct and in default … upon trust to pay or transfer the same … to such persons … as the managing trustee shall in his absolute and uncontrolled discretion think fit.” Subject to this provision, the trust fund was to be held for T’s wife and children. It was recited that L had agreed to act as managing trustee, and that the power to appoint a new managing trustee was vested in T for his life, and thereafter in L for his life, and thereafter in L’s personal representatives. By his will T gave all his property to the trustees of the settlement “upon the trusts and subject to the powers … therein … contained.” On 21 December 1937, T executed under his hand a memorandum purporting to exercise the general power of disposition reserved to him by the settlement directing inter alia the payment free of death duties of £20,000 to L, £5,000 on trust for T’s daughter on the death of T’s widow, and £10,000 to T’s son, also on the widow’s death. The document was not witnessed, but was an adequate exercise of the power conferred on T by the settlement. By three codicils dated 15 September and 22, 1939, and 4 February 1944, T confirmed his will. T died on 6 February 1944.

Held – (i) on the true construction of the settlement, L had no beneficial interest, and the powers of managing trustee were conferred, not on the individual but on the person for the time being holding the position of managing trustee, and, therefore, L could not cause the fund to be applied for his own purposes.

(ii) giving full effect to the principle that a codicial operates to bring the antecedent will down to the date of the codicil, by the will, which must be taken to be dated 4 February 1944, T left his residuary estate, in effect, on such trusts as he should declare in a future document under his hand; the process of bringing the will down to the date of the codicil did not have the effect of incorporating the memorandum in existence at that date as part of T’s testamentary papers; and, accordingly, the residuary gift quoad the trusts by reference to the settlement must be wholly bad.

Case study 3

Will – Codicil – Attestation – Blind man as “witness” – Wills Act, 1837 (c 26), s 9.

A testator made a codicil which he signed in the company of two persons, one of whom, a man of middle age, was blind, having been blinded some 18 months previously. Both persons subscribed the codicil as witnesses.

Held – The codicil had not been signed “in the presence” of the blind man within the meaning of the Wills Act, 1837, s 9, nor was he a “witness” for the purposes of that section, and the codicil was, therefore, invalid.

Dicta of Dr Lushington in Hudson v Parker (1844l) (1 Rob Eccl 23, 35, 36, 37, 40) and of Jessel MR, Brett and Holker LJJ in In the