The Forfeiture Rule and the Law of Succession.: Cm. 6625. (Hardback)Justice Roger Toulson (author)
Hardback Published: 27/07/2005
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The forfeiture rule, in common law, states that a person cannot inherit property from someone whom he or she has unlawfully killed. The problem is what should happen to the inheritance where the dead person has died intestate and the potential heir is excluded because he or she has killed the dead person. This problem was highlighted by a Court of Appeal case in 2000, in which the killer's children were, in effect, disqualified from the inheritance because of their parent's wrongdoing. The Law Commission issued a consultation paper on this topic in 2003 (No. 172, ISBN 0117302589). This report discusses the responses and sets out the Commission's final recommendations. The Commission recommends a "deemed predecease" rule: where a person forfeits the right to inherit from an intestate through having killed that intestate, the rules of intestate succession should be applied as if the killer had died immediately before the intestate. The Commission also recommends that this approach should extend to persons who have disclaimed an inheritance, or who have died unmarried and under 18 years of age, but leaving children. The report also includes a draft Law Reform (Succession) Bill, with explanatory notes.
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