The judgment relating to who should pay the costs of the proceedings in this case gives some welcome clarification - and no shortage of relief - to those who wish to make a will which makes no provision for individuals who they themselves believe should inherit an estate in part or in full.
The recent trend against testamentary freedom in reported cases has worried many will makers and professional advisors alike.
This case should serve as a lesson to those who seek to challenge the express wishes of a deceased person, and give reassurance to those who wish to make unusual but justifiable provisions in the distribution of their estate on death.
The Judge stated: 'I have concluded that none of the individual arguments raises a reasonable ground on which to oppose the will. I have also considered and rejected the conclusion that somehow, taken together, they raise a reasonable ground.'Ms Elliott was left with significant costs as a result of the defendant’s behaviour. There is usually a ‘no costs rule’ in these types of proceedings unless it can be shown that the defendant had ‘no reasonable grounds for opposing the will’. Gardner Leader argued that Ms Simmons had acted unreasonably in raising a challenge against the will.