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Agulian and Another v Cyganik [2006] EWCA Civ 106

An appeal by personal representatives of the deceased's estate against a finding that he had been domiciled in England at the time of his death. Appeal allowed.

Agulian and Another v Cyganik [2006] EWCA Civ 106

Court of Appeal: Mummery LJ, Longmore LJ, Lewison J (24 February 2006)

The appellants were the personal representatives of the late Andreas Nathanael, a Greek Cypriot habitually resident in London, who died suddenly in 2003. They were appealing a decision that Andreas was domiciled in England at the time of his death. That decision had given rise to an application by his partner at the time of death under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. The appeal was allowed.

The grounds for the appeal were that there was nothing in Andreas's life since he met his partner in 1995 from which the judge could properly infer that he had decided to live permanently in England. The respondents argued that the couple had intended to marry and this was the decisive factor in deciding his domicile.

Mummery LJ found that the court must look at the whole of the deceased's life and must be wary of singling out a particular factor as decisive. Also, the matrimonial factor was important but not conclusive. Longmore LJ added that using domicile to govern the estates of a person is at odds with the fact that many family matters are decided by reference to habitual residence.

Read the full text of the judgment here