Author Archives: Jane Collis

None of us likes to consider the possibility that we may one day find ourselves unable to manage our own affairs. It is a boon that we can expect to live longer, but longer life often involves a loss of independence, and the possibility of that loss of independence necessitates forward planning. It is essential to ensure that someone can take up your day to day responsibilities in the event that you lose physical or mental capacity and one of the simplest and most cost-effective tools available for these purposes is the Enduring Power of Attorney (“EPOA”).

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The Bermuda statistics on aging in Bermuda should be a wake-up call to all of us that our senior citizens require greater legal protection than our laws currently offer. By 2020 there will be 30 seniors (aged 65 and over) for every 100 persons of working age (aged 15 to 64). By the same year, there will be 75 men for every 100 women. Many senior Bermudians have relied on rental income from real estate to supplement their pension income. As we know, the Contributory Pension Fund is vastly underfunded, the rental property market is soft and seniors are being “encouraged” out of the job market. At the same time, many seniors are also providing for their children and grandchildren, who themselves are feeling the financial pinch. The combination of parental generosity, coupled with an aging parent’s increasing vulnerability, can have devastating consequences. Read More »

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…it would seem that, unnoticed by the equity judges and academics over the centuries, actions subsequently regretted by trustees have a quality of reversibility. It appears that Doctor Equity can administer a magical morning after pill to trustees suffering from post-transaction remorse, but not to anyone else.[1]

The Trustee Amendment Act 2014 (the “Act”) (35 KB PDF) will have the effect of amending the Trustee Act 1975 to introduce a new section 47(A), giving the court jurisdiction to set aside the exercise of a fiduciary power, which has gone wrong, thereby enshrining in law the “Rule in Hastings-Bass”, referred to by Lord Neuberger in commentary as a “magical morning-after pill”.

In the case of Hastings-Bass,[2] Lord Justice Brown laid down the following, which became known as the “Rule in Hastings-Bass”: Read More »

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In vitro fertilization and cryo-preservation of eggs, sperm and excess embryos, has become a routine procedure in much of the world. Bermuda does not have a sperm bank or a storage facility for embryos. Nor does Bermuda have an IVF clinic. But there are many Bermudians who travel overseas for fertility treatment and, in their excitement over the possibility of parenthood, are likely to give little thought to the nature of their interest in their own genetic material. Likewise, eggs and sperm are frequently stored by men and women undergoing chemotherapy, who may suffer sterility as a consequence of treatment. Read More »

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The facts of recent UK case Marley v Rawlings (260 KB PDF) were straightforward. Mr. and Mrs. Rawlings gave instructions to their solicitor to prepare identical wills, each leaving their estate to the other, but if the other had already died, to their “adopted son, Terry Marley”. The Rawlings had two biological sons, who were effectively disinherited by these wills. Unfortunately and inadvertently, husband and wife each signed the other’s will as a consequence of the solicitor handing the wrong will to the wrong person. The mistake was discovered on the death of Mr. Rawlings, several years after the death of Mrs. Rawlings, and the Rawlings’ biological sons challenged the will. Read More »

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