Proprietary estoppel challenge to Will settles

The case concerned a claim by one of two sons excluded by his late mother’s last Will.  The disinherited claimant brought proceedings in the Chancery Division against his brother (the sole beneficiary of their late mother’s estate) relying only on the doctrine of proprietary estoppel.  The claim alleged that the parties’ mother had assured the claimant in the early 1990s that if he helped her with various administrative and litigious tasks, she would ensure he inherited half of her estate upon her death.  The claimant carried out those tasks to his detriment and the parties mother died in late 2015.  A declaration that half of the net estate was held on trust for him was sought.  The defence denied amongst other things that such assurances were ever made but averred that the claimant would have undertaken the tasks described in any event out of natural love and affection for his mother.  The claim settled favourably at mediation.

George Woodhead was instructed by Rosalind Webster of Wellers Law Group LLP