Charities could be offered better protection against mounting costs in some contested legacy cases after a recent case set a legal precedent, a lawyer has said.

Tara McInnes, a senior associate solicitor at the law firm Gardner Leader, said charities and other parties defending their claims to estates would no longer have to pay full costs in passive defence claim cases.

In a passive defence claim case, the person wishing to challenge a will says they do not believe the will to be valid without giving their reasons or laying out the basis for their own claims.

This prevents the executor from carrying out the dead person’s wishes and forces them to take the case to court if they want to move forward – meaning those defending their claim, not the person challenging it, are forced to take on the costs.

But in April, the High Court ruled that Ruth Simmonds should pay £65,000 towards the cost of making a passive defence claim contesting her father’s will, which left his fortune to his former partner, Bernice Elliot.McInnes, who represented Elliot, said the ruling set a leg

Source: Legacy case offers hope for charities when wills are contested | Third Sector