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England and Wales High Court (Chancery Division) Decisions
You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales High Court (Chancery Division) Decisions >> Sherrington & Ors v Sherrington  EWHC 1613 (Ch) (13 July 2004)
Cite as:  EWHC 1613 (Ch)
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IN THE ESTATE OF RICHARD SHERRINGTON DECEASED (Probate)
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
| DALIAH DORIT SHERRINGTON
DONNA KARINA SHERRINGTON
RAMON GERARD DAVID SHERRINGTON
|- and -
|YVONNE ROSE SHERRINGTON
Mr Paul Teverson (instructed by Berwin Leighton Paisner, 154 Fleet Street, London EC4A 2JD) for the Defendant
Hearing dates: 15th - 18th & 23rd June 2004
Crown Copyright ©
Mr Justice Lightman:
THE RELEVANT HISTORY
"THIS IS THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT of me RICHARD MICHAEL SHERRINGTON of PENTHOUSE 19, BICKENHALL MANSIONS, BICKENHALL STREET, LONDON W1U 6BP AND I HEREBY REVOKE all former Wills and testamentary dispositions made by me
1) I APPOINT my WIFE YVONNE ROSE SHERRINGTON to be the Executor [sic] and Trustee of this my Will PROVIDED THAT if he [sic] shall be unable or unwilling to act in either such capacity or if he [sic] shall predecease me I APPOINT my daughters DALIAH SHERRINGTON and DONNA KARINA SHERRINGTON to be the Executor [sic] and Trustee [sic] of this my Will
2) SUBJECT to the payment of my just debts funeral and testamentary and other expenses and any capital duties payable on or arising from my death I GIVE DEVISE AND BEQUEATH all my estate both real and personal whatsoever and wheresoever situate not otherwise disposed of UNTO YVONNE ROSE SHERRINGTON
3) SHOULD my said wife fail to survive me by seven days or (if having so survived me) she shall disclaim any part or parts thereof (for which purpose my estate shall be deemed divisible into as many parts as shall be required to give effect to this provision) then I GIVE my said net estate or such disclaimed parts as the case may be unto my said daughters and my son RAMON SHERRINGTON
4) MY TRUSTEES shall have the following powers:-
(a) My Trustees shall have the same full and unrestricted power of investing in all respects as if they were absolutely entitled thereto beneficially and subject to no restriction with regard to advice or otherwise in relation to investment and without prejudice to the generality thereof they shall have power to buy sell or retain any freehold or leasehold property whether as an investment or a residence for any beneficiary
(b) In addition to all other powers conferred by law my Trustees shall have power at any time and from time to time to raise capital and pay or apply the same to or for the benefit of any minor beneficiary hereunder whether or not they shall in so doing exhaust the Trust Fund
(c) My Trustees may insure to the full replacement value thereof against loss or damage by fire or any other usual risk any property comprised in my estate for the time being or in any Trust fund created hereby paying the premiums out of the income or capital of my residuary estate and any money received by my Trustees under any such policy shall be treated as though it were proceeds of sale of the property insured
5) UPON my death it is my wish that my body be BURIED TOGETHER WITH MY WIFE.
IN WITNESS whereof I the said Testatrix [sic] have hereunto set my hand this 7th day of September Two Thousand and One
SIGNED by the Testatrix [sic] in our
presence and then by us in hers [sic]"
It will be noted (as shown above) that the Will contained the typographical errors which I have pointed out. Dr Walker explains them as arising from the erroneous transposition to the Will of language apt and adopted in the Defendant's Will occasioned by the fact that Dr Walker's drafting was constantly interrupted with calls for her attention elsewhere.
CHARACTERS AND RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE DECEASED AND THE DEFENDANT
"Prior to Richard's travel to Australia, I had been to see him on many occasions, in respect of the accounts of Sherringtons and one particular occasion it was to complete the Forms for the Solicitors Indemnity Fund (SIF).
Richard was unable to cope with SIF form in any shape or form whatsoever.
I would enter his office and he would have his head slumped over the desk as if asleep and unable to communicate.
I saw him in this state on quite a few occasions, as did Soli Daruwalla.
I would ask him 'is there anything I can do to help you'. Then would come in a very deep voice, as if from the depths of the ocean saying, 'No, thanks'.
In those circumstances it was very nearly impossible let alone difficult to get the SIF Forms completed, but also impossible to deal with anything on the Accounts of Sherringtons. He would put every thing off and seeing him in such a state of what appeared to be mental turmoil or anguish one was somewhat loath to add any pressure in those circumstances. I am sure you understand this with your experience of clients over the years. I had never ever seen him like this ever before. But he was like this for days and days and I began to believe that he would never go on holiday for this reason."
When faced in the witness box with the contents of this letter, the Defendant insisted that Mr John Lewis wrote another letter absolutely contradicting everything that he wrote in this letter and that this further letter was in her file. Though I requested her to do so, she never produced this further letter and quite plainly it never existed. The Defendant conjured it up to counter the unpalatable effect of Mr John Lewis' letter. The description of the Deceased by Mr John Lewis accords with the picture painted by the other evidence before me.
KNOWLEDGE AND APPROVAL