Law of Succession

Gregory Tolhurst of ‘The Orchards’, Farm Close, Cartford, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire died last week aged eighty one. As one of the executors of his will, Mrs Alison Kolb has instructed Mrs Serena Calster a Solicitor and Partner of Nicholson LLP Solicitors to advise her on a number of issues that are a cause of concern to her regarding the deceased’s homemade will which was made on the 22nd May 2008. He had apparently made this will shortly after he had returned home following a car accident in Zurich in which he had been quite badly injured. He was in Zurich at the time to chair an international banking conference.

Mrs Kolb is not sure what her duties and responsibilities are regarding her being the executrix of Gregory Tolhurst’s will. Mr Tolhurst appointed two executors and the other person is Helga Tolhurst whom Mrs Kolb knows divorced Mr Tolhurst in July 2011 and now lives in Milan, Italy. She wants to know whether her role will be same as her own role.
She has also noticed a table napkin attached to will which is signed, witnessed by two persons and dated the 4th of May 2013. She wants to know what this document is and the impact it has on the will. In it Mr Tolhurst appears to have revoked a legacy of £130,000.00 [one hundred and thirty thousand pounds] in his will that he left to Ms Lyn Ekins his personal assistant of twelve years. Mrs Kolb has heard that this occurred one evening at a yachting party in Cannes when in a state of intoxication Mr Tolhurst had on the back of a table napkin revoked this legacy of £130,000.00 [one hundred and thirty thousand pounds] to Ms Ekins. She wants to know is this valid or does she have to pay out this legacy to Ms Ekins.
Mr Tolhurst has left the residue of his estate to his daughter Gabrielle Moon and his nephew Aaron La Sueur. She knows that Aaron lives in Beetleswood, Norfolk but at present does not know where Gabrielle Moon lives, although she does know Gabrielle Moon works somewhere in Cardiff. Mrs Kolb is concerned that Mr Gregory Tolhurst has spelt Aaron’s surname incorrectly as ‘Le Sueure’ in his will and whether this invalidates the legacy to him. She also wants to know how she can trace and inform Gabrielle Moon of her legacy and what steps she as an executrix can take to protect herself if she cannot trace Gabrielle Moon.
Mrs Kolb is concerned that the will has been ripped and she does not know how this happened. She certainly didn’t do this. The last four letters of the testator’s first name has been torn off along with the end of the date the will was signed.
In the will, Mr Tolhurst has made a £70,000.00 [seventy thousand pounds] gift to Mrs Kolb but she wishes to refuse the legacy of £70,000.00 [seventy thousand pounds] as she doesn’t need the money and does not want to upset her own estate planning and tax position. She would like it to go to a local Caber Throwing charity for the advancement of amateur sport. She is not sure what steps, if any, she would have to take to do this.

Please discuss the issues that arise in this case

You are not required to discuss the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.

This is based on the Law in the the UK so please make reference to UK law.

Please use OSCOLA Referencing system.

Please include the following books to assist.
R Kerridge, Parry and Kerridge: The Law of Succession (13th edn, Sweet & Maxwell, 2016)

A Borkowski, Textbook on Succession (2nd edn, OUP, 2002)


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