Trusts and Estates

Relief from forfeiture

Withers Trust Corporation Ltd v The Estate of Hannah Goodman [2023] EWHC 2780 (Ch)

In a judgment delivered on 10 October 2023, the High Court granted relief from the operation of the forfeiture rule in the case of Withers Trust Corporation Ltd v The Estate of Hannah Goodman [2023] EWHC 2780 (Ch). This was a decision of Master McQuail. This case is notable as an example of where the motive for making the application under the Forfeiture Act 1982 was achieving a more favourable taxation position. As will be seen, the ultimate objects of the estate of the deceased both before and after relief from forfeiture was granted were so similar that the difference was accepted by the Master to be "de minimis". The case confirms the importance of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) guidance on encouraging or assisting suicide in the determination of applications for relief from forfeiture.

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