Two animal charities have expressed their 'delight and relief' after a historic decision by the Court of Appeal on 9 June in a landmark legacy case, overturning the High Court judgment in the case of King vs Dubrey & Others .
June Fairbrother made a will in 1998, leaving around £20,000 of pecuniary legacies to family and friends and the rest of her estate to seven animal welfare charities.
When Mrs Fairbrother died in 2011 her estate mainly consisted of a property worth £350,000. Sometime after her death, her nephew Kenneth King claimed that Mrs Fairbrother had spoken to him about her house four to six months before she died, effectively gifting her property to him.
In 2014 the High Court ruled that, by operation of the little known legal doctrine of donatio mortis causa (gifts made in contemplation of death), Mrs Fairbrother did gift the property to Mr King - a result which meant that the charities and other beneficiaries would receive nothing from her estate.