| Call 1989
Profile: Wills and Estates
Experience and Expertise
Katherine advises and litigates about all aspects of succession, inheritance and estate administration. Katherine is regularly instructed by major trust corporations in their role as executors of estates.
Katherine is recommended by The Legal 500 as “a real asset” for private client, trusts and probate work.
Cases and Work Of Note
- Jeffery v Jeffery  EWHC 1942 in which one son challenged the will of his mother. The Court decided that the mother had had capacity to make a will disinheriting the son where she had never suffered from any mentally incapacitating complaint, only occasional anxiety and mild depression. The Judge pointed out that if people suffering from such complaints were unable to make wills, a large percentage of the population would be so inhibited. Allegations of fraud, undue influence and want of knowledge and approval were rejected;
- Abbott v Richardson LTL 12/5/2006 in which Katherine’s clients were successful in challenging the will of an elderly testatrix whose purported last will left a significant gift to her housekeeper on the grounds of lack of testamentary capacity; and
- Michael v Cansick  EWHC 1684 (Ch) where the son of an elderly man challenged the inter vivos transfer of the man’s house to his granddaughter in unusual circumstances shortly before he died.
Katherine has been instructed in two separate cases in which a London Borough Council was involved in the care of children one of whose parents had killed the other. Initially in each case advice was sought about the devolution of the victim’s estate and the operation of the forfeiture rule because of the unlawful killing that had taken place.
Subsequently, in one of these cases, Katherine advised the professional trustee of the deceased parent’s estate. Complications arose because one half of the matrimonial home was comprised in the estate, which passed to the couple’s child, and the other half remained in the ownership of the killer who was in prison and decidedly uncooperative. When the time eventually came to sell the property some care was required in dealing with prospective purchasers who, it was feared, might be put off if they became aware that the deceased’s body had never been found.
Katherine was involved in another case where her client was convicted of causing both her parents’ deaths by careless driving. Her claim for relief from the forfeiture of her inheritance was made more contentious because of a lack of clarity as to the true beneficial ownership of a significant sum of money which the client and her parents had together won in the National Lottery some years before.