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Bloomsburry Family law

Wills, Trusts & Probate

Home for life promise created equity in home

Campbell v Terence Griffin (1) Peter Laverick (2) Peter Bennett (3) West Sussex County Council (4) CA 27/6/2001. The Claimant (“C”) initially occupied 26 St Botolph’s Road, the property of Mr. and Mrs. Ascough, as a lodger in 1978. At that time the Ascoughs were in their late seventies. For the first five years his position was that of a lodger who got on very well with his landlords. However, as the Ascoughs became increasingly frail they came to rely on C for help, for which they were very grateful. The Ascoughs had no children but two married nieces. C claimed that the Ascoughs treated him like a son, something, which due to his own troubled childhood he welcomed.

The impact of the Trustees Act 2000 on professional trustees

Trustees have a clear duty to act in the best interests of the beneficiaries. Unfortunately many trustees have historically believed that the best method of protecting the interests of their beneficiaries is to protect the capital. They therefore invest in low risk/low income areas which, perversely actually disadvantage beneficiaries over the longer term. Trustees however are not only required to consider the interests of the life tenant(s) but also those of the remaindermen (is this just a US legal term?). This apparent conflict coupled with restrictive investment options has left professional trustees caught between a rock and a hard place and resulted in a number of high profile cases.

Case note - overpayment of benefits

A recent Commissioners Decision (CA/1014/1999) has considered the relative liability of social security appointees and attorneys where an overpayment of benefit is made. This article considers that decision at some length because the clear analysis by the Commissioner (Mr Jacobs) is likely to be of assistance to all those who are acting for others with regard to their benefit claims.

Checklists: The Trustee Delegation Act 1999

The Trustee Delegation Act 1999, which was enacted on 1st March 2000, altered the position for Powers of Attorney. This is particularly relevant to Private Client and Conveyancing Lawyers. The following charts compare the position for Enduring Powers of Attorney, General Powers of Attorney and Trustee Powers of Attorney, before and after the Act, and highlight the problem areas.

Will drafting and potential claims

The purpose of this article is to suggest to will draftsmen certain steps that might be taken in order to reduce the possibility of a 1975 Act claim being made for provision out of the estate of the testator (T). However, it has to be borne in mind that, whatever steps are taken in that regard, there is nothing, other than inability to fund the litigation, that can prevent an eligible applicant from making a claim.