The deceased made a will with Hodge Jones and
Allen in January 2002 (Will A) which appointed the client’s mother
and the client as executors and leaving his entire estate to the
The deceased developed dementia in 2003.
The deceased had an ex-wife (Mrs S) who had
re-married and with whom he lost contact with until 2007 when he
was very ill. A second will was executed in February 2007
(Will B) whilst the deceased was in hospital which appointed Mrs S
and the solicitors drafting the will (E) as executors and leaving
his entire estate to Mrs S.
The deceased died in May 2007.
The estate mainly consisted of a 50% share in
the property where the deceased had lived.
Hodge Jones and Allen were instructed in May
The client resides in America.
There were huge concerns about Will B given
that E had been instructed by Mrs S, the deceased’s mental state,
and the fact that the witnesses to the will were Polish and spoke
A medical expert was instructed and produced a
report confirming that the deceased had no capacity to execute Will
Despite this evidence Mrs S was not prepared
to concede to the validity of Will A and the client had no choice
but to issue proceedings in the High Court in February 2008 for a
Mrs S was publicly funded. Witness
statements were obtained and Mrs S received permission from the
court to obtain her own expert evidence.
Mrs S’ expert report was disclosed in August
2008 and confirmed that the deceased did not have capacity to
execute Will B. Therefore the chance of Mrs S proving
otherwise was very low. However, Mrs S refused to withdraw
her defence and so Hodge Jones and Allen make submissions to the
Legal Services Commission. Mrs S’ funding was eventually
withdrawn in January 2009 and trial had been listed for March
Mrs S finally decided to withdraw her defence
just before trial. The client though still had to obtain the
declaration and requested the matter be dealt with on papers rather
than at an oral hearing. This was granted and a declaration
in the client’s favour was obtained in June 2009.
Hodge Jones and Allen also had to deal with
the deceased’s carer who had lived at the property during the
lifetime of the deceased, but refused to vacate after death.
Notice to Quit was served and the Council also became
involved. Only after threat of possession proceedings did the
carer finally vacate.
Dispute Resolution solicitor
Hodge Jones & Allen LLP