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Great expectations: Bradbury v Taylor

Leslie Blohm QC reports on the Court of Appeal case of ?Bradbury v Taylor

10 September 2012

It is not unusual for elderly relatives to promise their younger relatives benefits on their death. Sometimes this is done to obtain love, affection, ?or even services, in the sense of care, ?or physical work around the house.

When the will is read, there may be disappointment (or in the words of Nick Lowe, in the appropriately titled ‘Indian Queens’: “He said he’d leave me everything/ But he died before he could sign the will”).

Broken promises

If there is a legal remedy for the disappointed beneficiary, it may lie in the doctrine of proprietary estoppel. That is a principle of equity that prevents people from going back on assurances that they make in respect of their property where the assurance has been relied upon, and it would be unfair for them to withdraw. It is of general appli...

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