Legal News

Sealing wills (Re The Will of His late Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh)

Published on: 29 September 2021
Published by: LexisPSL
  • Sealing wills (Re The Will of His late Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh)
  • What are the practical implications of this case?
  • What was the background?
  • What did the court decide?
  • Case details

Article summary

Private Client analysis: This was an application for the Will of HRH Prince Philip to be sealed up and for no copy to be made for the record or kept on the court file. The court made the sealing order, in line with the convention that such orders are made in respect of the Wills of senior members of the Royal Family. For the first time, however, it published its reasons. It also varied previous sealing orders concerning Royal Wills so that they are no longer indefinitely sealed and gave guidance on the position moving forwards. The court also decided to hear the application in private. While the judgment is directed at the unique situation of Royal Wills, it provides practitioners with some (very limited) broader guidance on how the court will approach the power to seal a Will. In particular, it confirms that the statutory hurdle in rule 58 of the Non-Contentious Probate Rules 1987, SI 1987/2024 of establishing that inspection is ‘undesirable or inappropriate’ is not ‘an especially high one’. Written by Francis Ng, barrister at Selborne Chambers. or take a trial to read the full analysis.

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