THE ACTAPS PRACTICE GUIDANCE NOTES FOR THE RESOLUTION OF TRUST AND PROBATE DISPUTES

Preliminary note regarding the interaction between the ACTAPS Practice Guidance and Notes regarding pre action behaviour in other cases.

In general terms, the ACTAPS Practice Guidance Notes (hereafter referred to as “The ACTAPS Code”) are designed to promote the resolution of trust and probate disputes without the need for what are often bitter and very expensive court proceedings by encouraging careful use at an early stage of mediation processes and explaining how best to manage the difficulty, so often present in these cases, that not all parties can speak for themselves.

The ACTAPS Code is not part of the CPR but it is hoped that judicial regard will be given to appropriate attempts to comply with the Code in the spirit of the CPR.

The Code is designed to make specific provision for particular aspects of trust and probate disputes which have been found in practice to call for special care.

The Code lists a wide variety of disputes to which the Code may apply, and mentioning some to which it does not:

  • by recommending and providing a precedent for a letter of claim encompassing and adaptable to various types of dispute or claim (eg Inheritance Act claims)
  • by providing lists of evidential documents to be produced in different types of disputes
  • by promoting the early production of medical and social security records and evidence and providing precedent letters to that end (including a letter to a testator’s GP agreed with the BMA)
  • by providing for early production of evidence of testamentary capacity and a precedent Lark -v- Nugus letter to the testator’s solicitor
  • by suggesting reasonable time limits
  • by providing for cooperation in obtaining joint and third party letters of authority to disclose evidence
  • by reproducing the new CPR covering the representation of unborn, minor, unascertained and incapable parties
  • by encouraging mediation on the footing that the outcome will be subject to the approval of the Court in those cases where such approval is indispensable, and
  • by providing for those cases where Revenue considerations arise.

Please click here to download the ACTAPS Code document (Microsoft Word format)

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Note of Members The ACTAPS Noticeboard is for professional discussion between members. Please submit your notices to the Chairman, Henry Frydenson.