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Channon v Perkins (a Firm) (2005)

Where a will was valid on its face and the witnesses to it accepted that the signatures that appeared on it were their own, but had no recollection of the execution of the will, taking the evidence as a whole a judge could not properly have reached the conclusion that such evidence satisfied the high test to rebut the presumption of due execution.

9 December 2005

The first appellant (D) appealed against a decision that a will under which she was a substantial beneficiary had not been validly executed and should not be admitted to probate. The deceased (F) had made the will in 1996 when living with D. The will appeared on its face to have been properly attested in fulfilment of the requirements in the Wills Act 1837, s 9. At trial, the two witnesses (R and W) whose signatures appeared on the will accepted that the signatures were their own but denied having any recollection of attesting the will. Due to a personal trauma D could not remember the actual execution of the will. The judge held that her evidence was of no assistance in determining how R and W had come to be witnesses. He went on to hold that whilst giving the strongest weight to the presumption of due execution, the evidence of R and W comprised sufficiently strong evidence to rebut it. D argued that the judge had failed to give sufficient weight to the presumption of due execution a...

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