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Why would anyone do this?
almost sounds like she thought she was leaving it to the country, like to go on hospitals, or schools, or police of something.
but dodgy that it's ended up where it has innit.
It's why I believe in inheritance tax. The Government knows best.
The Mail (Dacre thanks you...) have tracked down the lady's will, and although it seems very minor, the money has indeed been left to the Government, not the political parties who are in Government (which is of course how the Conservatives/Lib Dems chose to interpret it).
Is it possible to give money to the Government that is not owed? I'm not sure. According to lefties it is, but I mean legally, not morally.
they're using the word 'spinster'
The correct decision, so fair play to them.
Slightly embarrassing all round.
then an old woman coming round the corner saying that she'd just lost £100 around there.
It is basically beyond doubt that the government of the day categorically and unequivocally isnt interchangeable or synonymous with the political party/parties who happen to be in power( can't get Westlaw on m phone but I'd put money on there being an authority for this).
Had she stipulated 'whoever is in government' - cf the more singular 'whichever government' used - there could maybe be scope to interpret it as gifting the parties themselves. even then, the possibility of a national govenment comprised of a coalition of all parties and independents kind of throws this into question (imagine this bequest being 80 years ago. Would the Labour Party get any money? Would 'national labour'?) It's relying on quite a precarious assumption that the property would be divisible amongst various parties and that the trustees/executor could calculate their shares with certainty.
moreover her precise wording...'for the Government in their absolute discretion to use...' strongly implies she intended whoever is in government qua their capacity as holders of a state office, to decide how it is spent. this necessitates that it was intended for the (executive branch of) government and not for those who hold office to use in a different and entirely separate capacity. Unless they have used their discretion and seen fit to pocket it for themselves, I think they've made a mistake.
The solicitors should be very embarrassed firstly for drafting this, secondly for then expecting us to rely on their assurances that she intended something other than the common sense interpretation.
Brb going to job centre plus.
The way the wording in the will is written makes it very difficult to interpret that she explicitly wanted the money made as a donation. The lawyer(s) who wrote the will after her instructions are at error for not making the language used clearer.
The statements from the executors and lawyers today stating that she meant it as a donations are pointless. If that's what she wanted, why is it not written in the fucking will?
"It was confirmed by Miss Edwards at the time of her instructions that her estate was to be left to whichever political party formed the government at the date of her death."
Not sure if this adds anything. Can what she 'said' (if there are witnesses) count for anything, or does it have to go exclusively with what's formally written in the will?
If that is what she requested, why the fuck is it not written in the will?
The lawyers stating what her instructions were is irrelevant, because its hearsey
As in, if the will didn't reflect her true intentions, and that is the fault of the lawyer and not the deceased, do those receiving the money (or not in this case) have to abide by a 'false' will?
That's the point in having a will: to avoid misunderstanding and conflict.
Without hard evidence (i.e. verbal hearsay of an informal chat), teh will is all we have to go on
The way it is written, there is no way that it can be interpreted as being explicit.
This is the fault of the lawyer(s) who drafted this 100%
But otherwise to rely on the fallible and unverifiable word of a solicitor would totally undermine the point of a will (legal certainty) and could create conflicts of interest (a solicitor could deliberately use ambiguous and unspecific language). Similar to a lot of other areas of law where there's a reluctance to go beyond the actual language of the parties.
And there are legal precedents guiding who can challenge what and under what circumstances etc. As is my understanding.
is my understanding
There's an ambiguity in the wording which is open to challenge and interpretation. The parties interpreted it one way (probably reasonably innocently), have been challenged on it, and have accepted the most probable desire of the deceased and handed it over to the Treasury in what they believe is in accordance with her wishes.
I'm not sure what debate is to be had here.
is that the lawyers seem to have suggested that she "informally" left instruction that the money should be donated to a political party, but the wording of the will cannot be interpreted as such
If her wishes were explicit and stated that she wanted leave the money as a donation to political parties, then why does the will not say that?
Although I think the ambiguity hinges on the freedom given to the government of the day at their `absolute discretion to use`. It doesn't stipulate activities of government or use in the policy arena. Under `absolute discretion` they could give it to Battersea Dogs Home if they wanted to. But they haven't so... struggling again to see what the fuss is about.
The government didn't use their discretion and decide it would best be spent on political donations (which would then also be illegal). howover the government receives funds, it's still accountable for how theyre used. It wouldn't be any different from the treasury just giving out political donations.
There's hardly a fuss but I imagine its cause the whole thing seems a bit sleazy but ultimately were being asked to give them the benefit of the doubt.
Because I don't know whether her solicitors conceded that the will may not reflect what her actual wishe were or whether they were just arguing that it should be interpreted to mean polical parties.
CG seemed to be asking about a situation where its common ground that what's formally written in the will doesn't reflect 'true' intention.
and not thy it means something totally contradictory. It should revert to her family if there's too much conceptual uncertainty, who can then decide to do what they want with it. The fact that its gone to the treasury makes it look like they're happy to leave it unchallenged.
and what the beneficiaries have done with it, then they have the right to do so. And good luck to them if they have reasonable grounds for a challenge here.
cause significant legal headaches. I don't think it's as simple as you're making out, and I have sympathy with both parties in this instance attempting to figure out what to do with the cash. Ultimately, they've made the correct decision to hand it over to the Treasury in my view, so it's probably best to just draw a line under it.
Haha imagine leaving someone the Conservative party in your will
She left it to 'whichever government is in office'. It's mostly ambiguous because that barely even makes sense grammatically; governments don't tend to take office.
to thank her for the gift of £520,000
They may as well respect her.
Or are you saying it is better to give my money to the government for them to spend it unwisely?