Our articles are written by experts in their field and include barristers, solicitors, judges, mediators, academics and professionals from a range of related disciplines. Family Law provides a platform for debate for all the important topics, from divorce and care proceedings to transparency and access to justice. If you would like to contribute please email editor@familylaw.co.uk.
A day in the life Of...
Read on

Burns v Burns – elderly testators, mental impairment and the ‘golden rule’

Date:8 FEB 2016
Third slide

What if an elderly client whose state of mental health is uncertain approaches you and asks you to prepare her will?

Will a court ever pronounce in solemn form an alleged will of an elderly testator who has displayed some traits of mental impairment?

In Burns v Burns [2016] EWCA Civ 37 (28 January 2016) the Court of Appeal heard argument as to whether a district judge (DJ) had been correct to pronounce in solemn form the alleged will (‘the 2005 Will’) of an elderly lady Mrs Burns dated July 2005. Her mental health was known to have declined prior the purported execution of the will and she was alleged by one of her sons AB neither to have known nor approved of its content. 

Mrs Burns (‘the deceased’) had died aged 89 in May 2010.  An earlier will dated May 2003 (‘the 2003 Will’) had provided for the beneficial interest of the deceased in her home in Ashton-in-Makerfield (‘the House’) to be left entirely to her son AB.  Her other son CB the claimant already owned the other half...

Read the full article here.