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Otitoju v Onwordi [2023] EWHC 2665 (Ch)

Jamie Cockfield appeared for the Claimant in Otitoju v Onwordi [2023] EWHC 2665 (Ch) challenging the right of the executors to take control and possession of the body of the Deceased, Peter Otitoju, who died aged on 8 August 2023. The Claimant is the youngest daughter of the Deceased. The Claimant challenged the validity of the thumb or finger-printed will dated 3 weeks before the Deceased’s death and therefore challenged the right of the appointed executors to take possession of her father’s body for burial. The Claimant requested the court exercise its authority under s.116 of the Senior Courts Act 1981 or under the inherent jurisdiction of the court to regulate the administration of estates, and make a declaration that the Claimant be entitled to take possession of her father’s body for burial or cremation.

HHJ Paul Matthews declined to override the position of the executors and declared that they are entitled to take possession and control of the Deceased’s body. However, the decision will not have any impact on any probate challenge that may be made to the validity of the will, which would take considerable time to resolve.

Jamie was instructed by Moreland & Co.

Read the full judgement here.