Will Dispute Case Update – Estoppel

16 November, 2012
by: Cripps Pemberton Greenish

Bradbury & Ors v Taylor & Ors [2012] EWCA Civ 1208

This will dispute case is an interesting example of a “proprietary estoppel” claim. Such a claim will arise where a promise to leave property is made to person or persons who then rely to their detriment upon that promise.

Here, in 2001, a husband and wife gave up their own home to live with his uncle who was a widower and was in his 80s. He asked them to live with him for company and promised that, in return, on his death they would receive his property.

However, in 2009 the uncle made a new Will leaving most of his estate to charity. The nephew was left only a share of the residuary estate.

The nephew and uncle fell out over the 2009 Will and the uncle brought a claim seeking a declaration that his nephew and his nephew’s wife had no beneficial interest in his property.

The uncle died just before the hearing and the dispute continued as a claim for proprietary estoppel against the uncle’s estate.

The nephew and wife won their case at first instance and had the ruling upheld by the Court of Appeal.

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