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Challenging the validity of a Will - What is a Larke v Nugus request?

View profile for Jordan Davies
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Mental capacity - a case law review - Tociapski v Tociapski

First things first…Larke v Nugus is a court case where a beneficiary of a Will fell into dispute with the executor of the estate, as a result of the executor’s refusal to provide them with a copy of the Will. An executor will always be provided with a copy of the Will and it is their duty to provide copies of the document to those who are entitled to it, if requested.

Following the case of Larke v Nugus, you are now able to issue a Larke v Nugus request to the solicitor who drafted the Will in question.

What does a Larke v Nugus request include?

  • A copy of the solicitors Will file including documents such as attendance notes with the testator and details of who made the appointments.
  • A number of questions regarding the initial appointments, how instructions were given and how the testator executed the Will, whether it be at home or in the solicitor’s office.
  • Detail as to whether anyone else was in attendance with the testator when each step was undertaken.

Who can issue a Larke v Nugus request?

A Larke v Nugus request is used when a party is looking to challenge the validity of the Will. In order to bring such a challenge, it is necessary for this party to benefit from the current will being overturned. This means that, for example, if the challenging party was due to receive £10,000 under the terms of the current Will, but under a previous Will they were due to receive £50,000, then they are set to benefit from the current Will being deemed invalid. If however, the party does not stand to make a gain from the Will being invalidated, then they are not able to pursue such a challenge.

As such, only persons set to benefit from the Will being invalidated are able to issue a Larke v Nugus request.

Why is a Larke v Nugus request helpful?

When considering a validity challenge, it is useful to consider the circumstances of the instruction, drafting and execution of the Will.

It is also helpful to obtain a copy of the Will file so as to map out a timeline of events surrounding the will and its drafting and execution.

Things to keep in mind

  • Some solicitors will seek the authority of the executors before providing a Larke v Nugus response.
  • Some firms will charge a fee for providing their response.
  • Others may only charge for photocopying expenses.

If you would like some advice on challenging the validity of a Will, and issuing a Larke v Nugus request, please do get in touch with our specialist contentious probate solicitors and we will be happy to help. Call us on 0161 696 6178.