Posted in Dispute Resolution
In recent weeks a story has made the national news in which a landmark ruling has seen a daughter awarded £164,000 after being cut out of her mother’s will.
Heather llott’s fight has lasted since her mother Melita Jackson’s death in 2004, where she was left without a penny from the £486,000 estate, with her mother instead leaving her legacy to animal charities.
However, in news that has made the media sit up and take notice the Court of Appeal has now ruled she should receive one third of the estate.
The ruling and the publicity of it could weaken people’s right to leave money to those they want to inherit.
However, this would mean people could still disinherit their children but have to explain why they have decided to leave their assets to others and, even after that, the Court could still, if it sees fit, override their wishes.
The court heard how Mrs Ilott, 54, had never been forgiven by her mother for eloping with her boyfriend at 17, and so had decided to leave her entire estate to the RSPCA, RSPB and Blue Cross charities.
Despite her mother’s disapproval, Mrs Ilott married her partner and today, long after that event in the late 1970s, the couple still live together and have five children.
The court heard Mrs Ilott now plans to use the inheritance to buy their home. The recent court appeal saw her awarded a third of the estate because the court decided her mother hadn’t left “reasonable provision” for her in the will.
The general view amongst us in the legal world is this will probably encourage disinherited adult children to challenge wills and could possibly lead to an increase in the number of wills being contested. In the latest hearing the judge Lady Justice Arden said Mrs Ilott’s late mother had been “unreasonable, capricious and harsh” before ruling the daughter should therefore receive a greater proportion of the estate.
It underpins what we a Pindoria Solicitors feel in that wills need to be written by professional solicitors and are accredited members of the Law Society Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme (WIQS). Regrettably in an era of more complicated family structures it also makes sense to review a will from time to time.
Wills are such incredibly important documents and if a person wants to make sure their wishes are granted they need to seek the best professional advice from solicitors who can avoid the matter getting tangled in a probate dispute.
We have the experience, legal knowledge and skills to handle your issues in a sensible and more importantly, a sensitive manner. We will guide you through the legal processes involved and ensure that we assist you in resolving the matter quickly and efficiently as possible. In addition, we advise on preventative measures that can be taken by trustees and executors to try to avoid such disputes.
Areas of expertise:
• Inheritance Act 1975 claims
• Disputed Wills
• Fraudulent Wills
• Lack of mental capacity or undue influence – Will challenge
• Asset & property dispute
• Estate administration dispute
• Caveats, warnings & challenges on Grants of Probate
• Contested Court of Protection
• Disputes over the identification of beneficiaries