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Title: Testamentary promises : a new approach
Author: Wells , Rosalyn Patricia
ISNI:       0000 0004 2748 1879
Awarding Body: King's College London (University of London)
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis examines the law relating to informal promises concerning the disposition of property on death. These promises are referred to as testamentary promises. Part I examines the social background to testamentary promises, the safeguards provided by the law of wills and the problems associated with informal testamentary promises. It is concluded that the law should respond to the social problems created by unfulfilled testamentary promises, but that this response must be tempered by a recognition of the dangers involved in enforcing informal promises outside the law of wills and by the need to avoid injustice to other claimants against the deceased's estate. Part II evaluates four different approaches to disputes involving testamentary promises. These are: enforcing testamentary promises through the law of contract; satisfying the equity arising under the doctrine of proprietary estoppel; reversing unjust enrichment through the law of unjust enrichment and exercising a statutory discretion under a statutory regime such as the New Zealand testamentary promises legislation. In each case the legal principles are identified and the impact of the remedies on the distribution of the deceased's estate is explained. It is concluded that there are a number of difficulties inherent in each of these four approaches, which makes their application unsatisfactory.Part III suggests and explains a new approach to testamentary promises, which would resolve the difficulties in the current law. It contains a draft Inheritance (Testamentary Promises) Act, the enactment of which would introduce discretionary statutory remedies where testamentary promises have been made and where the claimant has provided work or services for the deceased. It specifies factors which the court would have to consider in exercising its discretion and states where the claim would rank in relation to other claims on the deceased's estate.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available