Contentious probate costs rule: Elliott v Simmonds [2016] EWHC 962 (Ch)


Edward Murray, sitting as a deputy of the High Court, has handed down a costs judgment further to his decision to admit a will to probate in solemn form.  Although a long-standing rule that there is costs protection afforded to litigants who insist on a will being proved in solemn form, this is a modern authority dealing with the exercise of the Court’s discretion in such circumstances.  In this case an adverse costs order was made against the testator’s daughter from the date on which she had sufficient material to form a view on whether there was any reasonable material on which his will could be opposed.  Zoë Barton appeared for the Executor, who obtained an order silent on costs so as to preserve the beneficial costs position an executor or trustee generally enjoys.