The following Wills & Probate guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
The High Court has jurisdiction in relation to probates and letters of administration, in particular all contentious and non-contentious jurisdiction relating to:
testamentary causes and matters
the grant, amendment or revocation of probates and letters of administration
the real and personal estates of deceased persons
The probate jurisdiction of the High Court is divided between the Family Division and the Chancery Division (and county court).
The Family Division deals with non-contentious probate business.
The Chancery Division deals with contentious or solemn form probate business.
There are three main issues:
whether a document is admissible to probate
who is entitled to a grant of representation
whether a grant already made should be revoked
To grant representation the Family Division may consider the terms of testamentary documents to determine a point of construction but is not bound to do so. Instead, it may use its discretionary power to make a grant to a suitable person, leaving the question of construction to be decided in the Chancery Division, that being the proper court of construction.
Prior to 1 January 1983 there was no statutory guidance to assist in the interpretation of Wills. Now there are general rules as to the admission of evidence for such purpose. The statutory guidelines
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