When backstabbing backfires – challenging a will for fraudulent calumny
The recent case of Christodoulides v Marcou gives a rare example of a successful challenge to the validity of a will on the basis of fraudulent calumny.
What is fraudulent calumny?
Fraudulent calumny involves a person making false representations about another person, to a testator, with a view to inducing the testator to preclude the other from the benefits under their will. In these cases, where fraud is proven, the will be held to be invalid.
In the case of Re Edwards, Edwards v Edwards , Lewison J said the following: –
“… if A poisons the testator’s mind against B, who would otherwise be a natural beneficiary of the testator’s bounty, by casting dishonest aspersions on this character, then the will is liable to be set aside…”
"One day, all of this will be yours": When the promise of inheriting a family business is broken
"One day, all of this will be yours" is a saying often heard when family business owners are succession planning. Promising to pass a family business to a younger generation can provide peace of mind and often cheap labour for the business owner; and motivate younger generations to work hard and ensure the business is successful.
However, it is not uncommon to see these promises to not come to fruition, and when a business owner dies the family business to go to another family member or an unrelated third party.