- Wills lost for ten years are proved with help from a clumsy cat (Re Brunt (deceased))
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
Private Client analysis: The claimant sought to prove duplicate homemade Wills of a 35-year-old man with learning difficulties that had been signed on his behalf by a man later convicted of fraud. The first Will was discovered ten years after the testator’s death; the second just weeks before trial when the solicitor’s cat knocked over some papers destined for shredding. Despite the concerns of the forensic experts, Master Teverson found at trial that the testator’s mother suppressed the Will and falsely administered the estate on the basis of intestacy. He admitted the duplicate Wills to probate and appointed a solicitor as personal representative. The master considered the structure of fact-finding and the role of presumptions. Written by Duncan Macpherson, barrister at 1 Essex Court.
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