Family Provision and 30 years of estrangement, continued…


In my earlier post about the case of Wright v Wright where a family provision claim by estranged children was successful, the Court was to hear the parties arguments relating to how the legal costs of the claim should be paid (i.e. from the estate and which beneficiaries would pay etc.  In the first judgement, the Court felt that it may be appropriate for the charity (who was a beneficiary of a specific gift under the will) to bear the costs of the litigation.  Naturally, this idea piqued the interest of many in the industry resulting in this decision being highly anticipated.

The estate was defended on behalf of all beneficiaries.[para 9]

The Court determined that the costs should be borne rateably among all three beneficiaries.  Counsel for the charity argued that having the charity bear the whole of the litigation costs would have “a disastrous effect on the costs of all future estate litigation” and extend much further than to just this case.  Accordingly, the Court was persuaded to move from the original position and felt it “reasonable for a charity, or other beneficiary, to allow the executor to conduct litigation on behalf of all beneficiaries.”

You can read the costs decision here.

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