An open Inheritance Act door for those “Disinherited” and left out in the cold

Mrs Ilott, a mother of five has emerged victorious from a decade long legal fight with an award of £164,000, allowing her to buy her Housing Association home. After being purposely left out of her mother, Mrs Jackson’s Will, she was set not to receive a share of an Estate with a net value of £486,000 after her mother died in June 2004. Instead, the Estate was, bar some minor bequest, left to be divided among the Blue Cross, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Mrs Ilott was an only child and had been estranged from her mother for 26 years. Previously in 2007, the County Court, based upon the reasoning that the mother had acted in an “unreasonable, capricious and harsh” towards her daughter, awarded the sum of £50,000 to her. However, Mrs Ilott appealed this as too low and this was concluded by the Court of Appeal this week.

Mrs Ilott used her right under Section 1 of the 1975 Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act as a child of the deceased, to apply to the Court to challenge provisions of the will on the basis of Section 2, that “reasonable financial provisions” have not been made for her in her mother’s will. The Court of Appeal noted that such provisions had not been made and that Mrs Jackson had little connection to the charities she was trying to grant gifts of the Estate.

As a result, the ruling provides clarity and greater protection for adult ”disinherited” children as it has increased the room for successful claims.

Any adult children clients that are the subject of exclusion from a will, should seek advice on the various factors within Section 3 holistically, to find suitable grounds in order to build upon a cause of action for greater protection for those left out in the cold and in financial need.

Forbes Solicitors has extensive experience in dealing with Wills and Probate disputes, handling similar cases with exceptional client service. Manisha Modasia specialises in Probate Disputes and can be contacted on 0800 689 0831 for advice.

Manisha Modasia

About Manisha Modasia

Manisha Modasia is a Solicitor within the Dispute Resolution department at Forbes Solicitors. Manisha’s blogs cover her specialism in advising individuals, partnerships and company’s on contract disputes, recovery and disputing debts, emergency injunctions and remedies when facing disputes both business to business and business to consumer this includes also commercial agents disputes, intellectual property disputes and disputes arising out of contested wills. Manisha also writes about key changes in the law and regulations in relation to civil and commercial claims and case law which impacts on the Dispute Resolution.
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