Cowan v Foreman (as executor of the estate of Michael Cowan and as trustee of the Business Property Trust and the Residuary Trust in the Will of Michael Cowan dated 24 March 2016 and as trustee of the Michael Cowan Foundation) and others

Probate – Wills. The judge, refusing to exercise power under s 4 of the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 to permit the appellant to commence proceedings under s 2 to challenge the distribution of her late husband's estate, had erred in applying a robust approach and holding that the court had to be satisfied that the claim was arguable and there were good reasons justifying the delay. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, held that, when determining whether a claim should be brought outside the six-month period, the court had to consider all of the relevant circumstances of the case and it was necessary to decide whether the applicant's claim had a real prospect of success rather than a fanciful one, and if the claim had no real prospect of success; the court would not entertain a claim with no merit which was commenced outside the six-month time limit merely because the delays could not be explained and no one was prejudiced.

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