Disinherited? Don’t lose heart. Disinheriting? Take care …

‘Woman rejected by mother in will wins £164,000 inheritance’ according to the BBC’s headline.  Melita Jackson died on 29 June 2004 leaving her net estate of £486,000 to a selection of charities.  Melita had had little if anything to do with these charities during her lifetime.  Sadly Melita had fallen out with her only child, Heather Ilott.  The pair became estranged when Heather was 17 or 18 years old because Heather ran away with a man who was to become her husband and father of her five children.

Heather’s claim against the estate of her late mother has  reached its latest decision from the Court of Appeal having been up and down from County Court to High Court and back up again to the Court of Appeal (Ilott v Mitson CA [2015] EWCA Civ 797).  Mrs Ilott’s latest appeal was that an award against her mother’s estate of £50,000 was insufficient for her maintenance and the award should be increased.  The Court of Appeal has set aside the award and substituted its own award of £143,000 plus up to a further £20,000.  Why and how? Continue reading “Disinherited? Don’t lose heart. Disinheriting? Take care …”

Strategy and the land manager

These slides provide an update on the survey I have been undertaking for my RAU 100 Club/RICS (Royal Agricultural University/Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) Fellowship on the topic of strategy in rural estate management. The 151 respondents to date have been involved in the management of at least 1.973 million acres in the last year, and potentially up to 4 million acres. It’s therefore probably reasonable to claim a mid figure of 3 million acres, or at least 1 million hectares. Analysis continues but there are already some very interesting results.

Estate Management Strategy: a survey

Please can I invite readers to complete a short survey for me, particularly if you are involved in land or estate management on any scale.

There are seven questions, and it should take no more than a few minutes to complete.  This link will take you to the survey:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RKDDXRZ

The results of the survey will be published in my report for the RICS/RAU 100 Club Fellowship (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors/Royal Agricultural University).  They should be useful to estate managers in extending our understanding of the role of strategic planning on the rural estate, and helpful to students and course designers.

If you would like to receive a summary of the results there is an option to provide your contact details but other than this individual responses will be confidential.

Thank you in advance for your assistance and input.  The preliminary results will be available at the National Rural Conference at the RAU on Thursday 18 June.  Booking details here:

http://www.rics.org/uk/training-events/conferences-seminars/rics-rural-conference/cirencester/

Cornish Hedges, Post and Wire Fences and Boundary Problems

The Court of Appeal’s judgment in Drake and another v Fripp [2011] EWCA Civ 1279 deals with a boundary dispute.

Did the boundary follow a Cornish Hedge, or a nearby Post and Wire Fence?  They were four to five metres apart, and the area between the two amounted to 1.5 acres or thereabouts.

The case report should be an interesting and useful read for estate managers, students in particular, as it deals with an appeal against an appeal – so the process which applies to this type of dispute can be followed.

It also deals with some common issues in the definition of boundaries.  For example the transfer plan was stated to be ‘Not to Scale’, and ‘For identification purposes only’ – designations which combined to make it useless for the purpose of defining the boundary in question.

There is also a reference to the status of ‘general boundaries’ under Land Registration rules, and the process of ‘rectification’ by which an adjudicator can correct mistakes in title boundaries and other mishaps.

The post and wire fence won by the way, but read the report itself for why.  You’ll also find out what a Cornish Hedge looks like.