DMM, Re (Alzheimer’s : power of attorney) [2017] EWCOP 32

26 January 2018

St John’s Chambers Members, Alex Troup and Abigail Bond, were involved in the case of Re DMM, a Court of Protection case which was recently reported on Bailii and has been the subject of considerable press interest. The case concerned an application by EJ, one of the daughters of DMM, to restrain his marriage to his long term partner, SD, the effect of which would be to revoke DMM’s will which was substantially in favour of the daughters.

The case raised the interesting and novel issue of whether the legal test for capacity to marry required the person in question to understand that marriage would automatically revoke their will. His Honour Judge Marston held that the test did indeed require that level of understanding, but gave permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal. Shortly thereafter, however, an expert jointly instructed by the parties reported that DMM did in fact understand that his marriage would automatically revoke his will. In a second judgment, HHJ Marston held that, in light of that expert report, DMM was free to proceed with the marriage; and in those circumstances the appeal to the Court of Appeal on the question of law became otiose and was not pursued. Alex Troup represented EJ, and Abigail Bond represented SD.

The two Bailii decisions can be viewed via the following links: 

DMM, Re (Alzheimer’s : power of attorney) [2017] EWCOP 32
DMM, Re (Alzheimer’s : marriage : power of attorney ) [2017] EWCOP 33