Poor Planning and Poor Records = A Poor Legacy for the Children

Provincial Equity Finance v Dines, 2023 EWHC 103 Ch is a reminder that inheritance tax disputes are often won or lost by whether the testator has done some of the ‘heavy lifting’ that is necessary during their lifetime.

The adult children of Graham Dines’ first marriage have failed to prove that 12 properties registered in his or his second wife’s names really belonged to his company and should be inherited by them in accordance with Dines’ will. The England and Wales High Court ruled that Dines’ widow was entitled to the disputed assets, along with the couple’s matrimonial home, a second home in Florida, his pensions, most of his chattels and cash under the terms of the will. The claimants argued unsuccessfully that the company was the properties’ beneficial owner on a resulting trust because it had provided the funds to buy them.

Have a look at the full report at:


In the summing up it was concluded that:

“If the outcome differs from what Graham would have wished for, that may be seen as a consequence of what Mr Arad referred to as Graham’s hopeless disorganisation when dealing with paperwork and his failure over many years to organise and document his business finances and transactions with greater rigour.”

The pertinent word here is ‘if’, of course.  The deceased’s intentions were unknown and unrecorded.  As the judge opined, ‘hopeless’.


Stephen Parnham