Executor cited to accept or refuse probate
Roman Kubiak successfully represented a beneficiary of an estate in which the named executor in the will could not be traced and had previously been uncooperative. As such, we issued a citation to the executor to accept or refuse probate failing which we asked the Probate Registry to grant probate to our client.
In the event, the executor never replied to the citation and probate was ultimately granted to our client who could administer the estate in accordance with the deceased's wishes.
Questions over interpretation of will where adopted children involved
Hugh James acted for a professional executor in relation to settlement deed executed in 1953. The deed stipulated that the fund should be “held for such children” of the settlor and if that clause should fail, for the children of the next door neighbour. The settlor adopted two children in 1958 and 1960.
The question was whether the adopted children stood to benefit or if, alternatively, the son of neighbour should benefit? There was no settled law on whether the Human Rights Act 1998 applied retrospectively and, therefore, if it altered the operation of s.5 of Adoption of Children Act 1926 which specifically said that adoption did not confer inheritance rights for adopted children.