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28 Sep 2017

Testamentary Capacity


Date 28 Sep 2017
Time 16:30 - 18:00
Location Law Society House, Belfast
Cost £50.00 per person
CPD Points 1.5 General Group Study
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This session will look at testamentary capacity both from the perspective of making a will and challenging a will on the grounds of capacity (or defending a challenge to a will) through to hearing or compromise.

It will include the following:

  • Banks v Goodfellow and the legal test revisited;

  • The capacity “aspects” of knowledge and approval and undue influence;

  • The rule in Parker v Felgate;

  • The draftsman’s duty in respect of capacity when making a will;

  • The current status of the golden rule;

  • The importance of good attendance notes (with sample notes to provoke discussion);

  • Instructing medical experts - the principles and the practical reality;

  • The role for the statutory will;

  • Capacity challenges – the procedure in brief and the burden of proof;

  • Acting for a claimant in a prospective capacity challenge – first steps and evidence gathering/acting for a defendant beneficiary or executor;

  • The role of the draftsman in capacity challenges, including Larke v Nugus letters;

  • Litigation procedure, including dealing with caveats;

  • Compromises;

  • Costs.

The session will be delivered by Sheena Grattan BL. Sheena is a practising Chancery barrister in Northern Ireland specialising in private client work. Previously she was a senior lecturer in the Law School of Queen's University, Belfast lecturing in Equity (including Trusts), Land Law, Inheritance and the Law and Revenue Law, having started her career as a solicitor in private practice. Sheena is the author of several legal texts including Succession Law in Northern Ireland (SLS), and, with James Kessler QC, Drafting Trusts & Will Trusts in Northern Ireland (Bloomsbury). She is a founding member of the STEP: Northern Ireland branch and in 2012 was the recipient of a STEP Founder's award for outstanding achievement. She has been an examiner and tutor for both the Administration of Trusts and Administration of Estates components of the STEP/CLT Diploma programme in Northern Ireland since its inception.

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