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PINNOCK v ROCHESTER

A deceased’s son who made a claim against the deceased’s estate under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 and accepted payment was not precluded from subsequently challenging the validity of the will.

21 November 2011

The appellant (P) appealed against an order striking out his claim challenging the validity of his deceased father’s will. The deceased (F) made his will three days before his death and there was an issue as to whether he lacked testamentary capacity. The will appointed the respondent (R) executrix and legatee. P brought proceedings under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 and eventually settled his claim for £28,000. He then challenged the validity of the will.

R applied to strike out the claim on the basis that P was precluded from bringing such a claim by virtue of the doctrine of election. R argued that it was inequitable and an abuse of process for P to bring a claim challenging the validity of the will having entered into a consent order under the 1975 Act proceedings. The recorder upheld R’s objections and held that P had asserted the validity of the will by taking payment under it in the 1975 Act proceedings so that it was inequitable ...

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