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Digging for gold

Suzanne Evans considers how the ‘golden rule’ has changed since Thorpe v Fellowes

30 November 2011

Private client practitioners are all aware of the age-old test for making a will laid down in Banks v Goodfellow [1870] LR 5QB 549. The test sets out that a person making a will must:?
 

  • understand the nature of the act and its effects;
     

  • the extent of the property of which he is disposing; and
     

  • be able to comprehend and appreciate the claims to which he ought to give effect.?
     

This was expanded upon by Templeman J (as he then was) in Kenwood v Adams [1975] CLY 359 November whose judgment has become known as ‘the golden rule’: “In the case of an aged testator or a testator who has suffered a serious illness, there is one golden rule which should alway...

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