Posted: Tuesday, 28 February 2017 @ 13:45
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
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.