⦿ CASE SUMMARY OF:
Mrs. Sinmisola Carew v. Mrs. Iyabo Omolara Oguntokun (2011)
⦿ LITE HOLDING
The Appellant had no locus standi being that she could not act for the deceased after his death despite a clause authorising so in the will of the deceased. Hence, work done by her for the sake of the will cannot be claimed.
⦿AREA OF LAW
Law of Succession (Will)
– Law of Succession.
Mrs. Sinmisola Carew
Mrs. Iyabo Omolara Oguntokun
⦿ LEAD JUDGEMENT DELIVERED BY:
A.M. MUKHTAR, J.S.C
* FOR THE APPELLANT
* FOR THE RESPONDENT
⦿ FACT (as relating to the issues)
An appeal by the respondent at the Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court. The Court of Appeal held she had no locus standi to institute the action at the trial court.
1. Whether the Court of Appeal rightly or wrongly held, that the appellant has no locus standi to sue the 1st – 3rd respondents for the recovery of professional fees and valuation expenses.
2. Whether the Court of Appeal was right or wrong in its decision that the appellant (whose firm was appointed by the Testatrix as solicitors to the will and to the Estate) lacks the locus standi to sue the 1st to 3rd Respondents (named as Executrix and Executors of the will) to compel them to pay appropriate probate fees/duties to the probate registrar of the High Court of Lagos State.
⦿ RESOLUTION OF ISSUE(S)
1 & 2: BOTH ISSUES WHERE RESOLVED AGAINST THE APPELLANT BUT IN FAVOUR OF THE RESPONDENT.
i. This brings me to the argument of the learned counsel for the respondents that the relationship of the appellant on the will terminated on the death of the testatrix, and that she ceased to be the solicitor to the estate. Me think that even without the consideration of the authorities cited by learned counsel, commonsense dictates that the services of the appellant terminated on the death of the testatrix, for after her death the estate became that of the beneficiaries and executors to administer and manage. The duty to administer and manage in the instant case fell on the respondents, and it is very clear, as can be gathered from the depositions reproduced above that the respondents did not extend the duties to the appellant. As a matter of fact they are completely opposed to the appellant stretching her authority to suffocate them, so to speak. The instructions given in clause (24) of the will and the appointment of the appellant as lawyer for the will and estate is void, as it was to become operational infuturo, when the testatrix would have been dead. As a lawyer to the will, the appellant completed her instructions when the will had been drafted, sealed, and read over to the executors and beneficiaries. That aspect of the clause is in tandem with the law, but the later party of the clause on the estate is questionable, and not tenable.
⦿ ENDING NOTE BY LEAD JUSTICE – Per
Section 16 of the Legal Practitioners Act, Cap 207, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990.
⦿ SOME PROVISION(S)
⦿ RELEVANT CASE(S)
⦿ CASE(S) RELATED
⦿ NOTABLE DICTA