Guy Platon looks at a recent high court case in which a holistic approach was taken by the judge and witness evidence was king

As probate practitioners, we can sometimes get used to dealing with professionally drafted and validly executed wills but there are grey areas and a very interesting recent High Court case of Cooper and another v Chapman and others [2022] EWHC 1000 (Ch) put this in sharp relief.

After a three-day trial in April 2022, the approved judgment was handed down on 6 May 2022.

The trial focused on the question of whether or not a will was validly executed and also the well-established presumption a will has been revoked where the original will was in the testator’s possession before their death but cannot be found after it.

Holistic approach

In reaching his decision, the judge admitted to his &l...

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