The elderly man, referred to as DMM in the judgement, wanted to marry his long-term cohabitant against the wishes of his three daughters from his first marriage.
DMM has co-habited with his current partner for more than 20 years. In 2013, he executed a will giving her the majority of his pension, a £300,000 ($427,347, €343,787) cash legacy and the right to live in his house for two years after his death.
The remainder of his £1.7m estate was to be divided between his three daughters and one of them was made power of attorney.
In November 2016, DMM, who now had Alzheimer’s, announced he would be marrying his long-term partner.
This marriage would make the 2013 will obsolete and DMM would likely not be able to write a new one because of his advancing dementia. This means that his new wife would inherit almost all his estate and the daughters’ shares would substantially shrink.
In response to the marriage, one of the daughter’s had a temporary injunction imposed preventing the marriage.
She also had her father undergo an independent mental capacity assessment, it concluded he did not have the capacity to decide to remarry or produce another will.
Court of protection
The case was then referred to the Court of Protection and was heard in September 2017.
Hugh Series, a consultant psychiatrist specialising in old age, was appointed by the court to assess DMM’s capacity to give consent.
Series found that DMM understood his will would be cancelled once remarried, that he may not have the capacity to make a new one and his daughters might receive less of his estate.
On this basis, the judge ruled that DMM had the capacity to marry and made an order to its effect.
The judge additionally refused the daughter’s permission to appeal.