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Probate motion was necessary to allow advancement of claim against estate

By: Ian Fitzharris BL

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High Court, in succession proceedings seeking proper provision and other declaratory reliefs against the estate of the deceased brought by the deceased's daughter, grants order for costs against estate of deceased of motion seeking liberty to apply for a grant of letters of administration of estate of deceased, limited for purpose of substantiating proceedings, which the applicant wished to bring against the estate, on the grounds that: the motion was necessary to allow the applicant to advance her claims; and it could have been avoided if the deceased's will's executor had proved the will at an earlier stage and had been forthcoming about the existence of a will from the beginning of the dispute between the parties.

Succession civil bill - application for declaratory relief that property of deceased were part of estate and that property transfers were dispositions made for the purpose of disinheriting the applicant - provision for child - statutory relief - probate motion - notice of discontinuance of High Court proceedings - whether applicant's motion rendered moot by undertaking given by deceased's nephew to prove will and/or that the giving of an undertaking was an 'event' which should carry costs - whether probate motion was necessary - whether applicant misled as to existence of personal representative of deceased - whether a wasted costs order appropriate against notice parties' solicitors - applicant's solicitors requested information on whether or not deceased had made a will - applicant needed a grant of probate to pursue claim against estate of her late father - issue was who might defend intended action - outcome of motion could and should have been avoided by executor applying for grant of probate sooner - applicant's costs granted against estate - failure of executor to be forthcoming as to existence of will - no order as to notice parties' costs of motion

Note: This is intended to be a fair and accurate report of a decision made public by a court of law. Any errors should be notified to the editor and will be dealt with accordingly.

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