Estate of John William Scarle, deceased (by his personal representative Ann Winter) v Estate of Marjorie Ann Scarle, deceased (by her personal representative Deborah Ann Cutler) [2019] EWHC 2224 (Ch), [2019] All ER (D) 68 (Aug)

What are the practical implications of the case?

The decision of the High Court in Scarle v Scarle is the first English judgment in over 50 years to have considered the meaning of LPA 1925, s 184, which provides as follows:

β€˜In all cases where, after the commencement of this Act, two or more persons have died in circumstances rendering it uncertain which of them survived the other or others, such deaths shall (subject to any order of the court), for all purposes affecting the title to property, be presumed to have occurred in order of seniority, and accordingly the younger shall be deemed to have survived the elder.’

The order of deaths is of crucial importance where parties hold property as beneficial joint tenants and therefore, in the absence of testamentary provisions to the contrary, such property passes by survivorship.

 

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