Will Dispute Case Update – Turner v Phythian (2013) EWHC 499
This is a very recent Will dispute case where we successfully acted for the Claimant, Lynda Turner, in challenging the validity of the last Will of her Aunt, Iris Wilson.
The Judgment in this case was delivered by Vivien Rose sitting as a Deputy Judge of the Chancery Division on 15 March 2013.
It was her Judgment that the Will of Iris Wilson, which had been prepared by Mr Phythian and left the entire Estate to him and his wife, was invalid on the grounds of lack of testamentary capacity and lack of knowledge and approval.
In relation to ground of lack of capacity, the key finding of the Judge’s was that Iris Wilson executed the Will whilst suffering from an affective disorder brought about by her deep grief at the death of her twin brother some weeks previously and the earlier death of her husband.
In this regard, the Judge cited with approval the words of Briggs J in the case of Key v Key (2010) EWHC 408 (Ch).
As regard to the question of knowledge and approval, the Judge found that the Will was prepared in circumstances that ought to excite the suspicion of the Court in accordance with the rules set our in Barry v Butlin (1838) 2 Moore’s Privy Cases.
The Judge found that Mr Phythian failed to discharge the burden so raised due to factors including the circumstances that the Will had been made and the fact that Iris Wilson’s family, to whom she was very close, had been completely excluded from the Will.
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