Larke v Nugus requests
Larke v Nugus requests

The following Wills & Probate practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Larke v Nugus requests
  • What is a Larke v Nugus request
  • What about the Will drafter’s duty of confidentiality
  • Costs
  • Can I compel a Will writer to respond to a Larke v Nugus request

What is a Larke v Nugus request

In 1959 the Law Society first recommended that where a dispute arises about the validity of a Will the solicitor who prepared it should make available a statement of their evidence in relation to the instructions, preparation and execution of the Will. This guidance was considered by the Court of Appeal in the case of Larke v Nugus SJ 123 (1999) 337 (not reported by LexisNexis®) where the Court of Appeal said:

‘Where a serious dispute arises as to the validity of a will beyond the mere entering of a caveat and the solicitor’s knowledge makes them a material witness, then the solicitor should make available a statement of their evidence regarding the execution of the will and the circumstances surrounding it to anyone concerned in the proving or challenging of that will, whether or not the solicitor acted for those who were propounding the will.’

A request for information about the circumstances in which a Will was prepared and executed is therefore known as a Larke v Nugus request, whether made to a solicitor or another Will writer. Such a request is usually made on behalf of disappointed beneficiaries in order to assess whether to bring proceedings to challenge the Will.

The standard form of a Larke v Nugus request is a letter that asks that the Will writer address

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