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The Great Costs Myth...
When I lecture (as I occasionally do) about contentious probate issues, one slide which always causes amusement is a picture of the Loch Ness Monster with the caption “The Great Costs Myth”
It alludes to the widespread belief (even amongst solicitors) that win or lose in probate matters, costs always come out of the deceased’s estate. Much to my astonishment, some years ago, I was even informed by a solicitor that the rule was, not only that costs came out of the estate, but that they did so without even an Order to that effect being made!
THIS IS NOT TRUE! It cannot be said too often, that the usual rule applies in probate matters, the usual rule being that the loser pays ; there is a discretion in the Court to order that costs be paid out of the estate, but it would be very unwise to rely upon this when embarking upon litigation. There are also special rules relating to litigation conducted by Personal Representatives. In such circumstances, the PRs need to have regard to the Beddoes Rule, about which I shall blog next month.
Mary Butler, Partner and Head of the the Inheritance Disputes Team
If you would like more information about this, please call Mary on 0114 220 2185 or email firstname.lastname@example.org