Individuals can agree that they will not in the future revoke or amend their Wills without the other party’s consent. In contrast, mirror Wills, drafted on identical terms to each other, do not prevent one party from amending their Will either before or after the death of the other. Mutual Wills can restrict the freedom of the surviving Will holder to deal with his own property and the property inherited from the first to die, and for that reason professional advisors will often caution against them.

The case of Legg v Burton

In the recent case of Legg v Burton [2017] EWHC 2088 Ch, the High Court held that a married couple had made mutual Wills.

In July 2000, June Clark (“Mrs Clark”) and her husband, Bernard Clark (“Mr Clark”), signed their Wills (the “July 2000 Wills”) each giving their estate to the surviving spouse or, if the spouse did not survive, to their two daughters, Ann and Lynn, in equal shares.

Mr Clark died in May 2001 and Mrs Clark inherited his entire estate. Following Mr Clark’s death, Mrs Clark went on to sign thirteen separate Wills between the period 2004 and 2014. These Wills dramatically reduced the fraction of the estate bequeathed to her daughters. The last Will made by Mrs Clark was signed in December 2014 (the “2014 Will”) and provided for Ann and Lynn to receive legacies of £10,000 and £30,000 with the residue of Mrs Clark’s estate to pass to her grandchildren.

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In the recent case of A Limited FURBS [2017] 21/2017, the Guernsey Court held that, in the exceptional circumstances arising, it was appropriate for the trustees to submit to the jurisdiction of the English Court in divorce proceedings involving one of the trust’s beneficiaries.

The case, detailed further below, will provide useful guidance for Isle of Man trustees affected by foreign proceedings.

Similar to the position in Guernsey, the Isle of Man’s trust legislation includes firewall provisions, the purpose of which is to exclude the recognition or enforcement of foreign court orders or judgments that are inconsistent with Isle of Man trust law or the terms of an Isle of Man trust unless the Isle of Man High Court orders that such orders or judgments are to be recognised.

Read more: Guidance for Trustees - when should you submit to the jurisdiction of a foreign court?

Law n°1448 of 28 june 2017 regarding International Private Law was published last friday in the Monaco official gazette. This new law is quite complex and covers jurisdiction of the Monaco courts, recognition of foreign judgments and foreign public deeds, conflicts of laws, personal status, marriage (in particular matrimonial regime, divorce and separation...), filiation and adoption, alimony and financial compensation, estates, contractual and non contractual obligations, assets, trusts. Among other things the new law allows the parties to choose the law applicable to their matrimonial regime, their divorce, and their estate. It conveys substantial changes in Monaco practice. We now need to see how the courts will understand the new provisions.

By: Bama Djokonugroho (Senior Associate) & Yasser Mandela (Junior Associate)

As 2017 gets underway, we would like to give a gentle reminder that the International Code of Safety for Ships Using Gases or Other Low-Flashpoint Fuels (“IGF Code”), which was adopted on 11 June 2015 by the Maritime Safety Committee of the International Maritime Organization, came into effect internationally on 1 January 2017.

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In June 2016[1]. The Apex Court confirmed that abuse of Sections 54 and 167 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) 1898, dealing with arrest on suspicion and subsequent remand, were inconsistent with the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution. The Appellate Court confirmed the directions issued by the High Court in 2004 and declared that in the full judgment it will issue specific guidelines for the Police for exercising its powers under S. 54 and 167 of the CrPC.

Read more: Policing the Police - A Judicial Intervention in Bangladesh