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What Is The Point of A Larke v Nugus Letter?

Posted: Tuesday, 28 February 2017 @ 13:45

Background

In the case of Larke v Nugus, the Court of Appeal refused to order those challenging the will to pay the costs of the challenge even though the will was found to be valid. This was because the solicitor who had prepared the will refused to make information available at an early stage which, had it been given, could have prevented a full trial.

What is the Actual Purpose of Such a Letter?

The purpose of a Larke v Nugus letter is to prevent money being spent on  litigation by the provision of early legal disclosure and to reveal  evidence which can be key to  probate dispute. The onus is on the receiving solicitor to provide a prompt reply and relevant evidence to facilitate early settlement. Thus the solicitor should provide a full response to a request within a reasonable period, for example: two to three weeks and  provide key parts of the will file.

What is The Content of Such A Letter?

The form is an effective question process which will include such questions as how long the Solicitor had known the deceased, the date the Solicitor received instructions from the deceased, notes of all meetings and telephone calls, including confirmation of where the meeting took place and who else was present at the meeting. All relevant if you have concerns over the validity of will.

How Useful Are They?

Often, very. It will often indicate whether the deceased was advised correctly by the Solicitor, whether there were individuals present at instruction/execution to support allegations of undue influence and whether the Solicitor undertook the correct test for testamentary capacity. Can reveal a crucial evidential point. If you are going to attack an aspect of the will making process this is where you have to go.

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