Landmark Judgment in Ilott v Mitson Case Means Will Disputes Could Increase

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Landmark Judgment in Ilott v Mitson Case Means Will Disputes Could Increase

In a landmark judgment, Mrs Ilott who had been deliberately disinherited in her late mother’s Will has been awarded a large proportion of the estate.

Mrs Jackson who died in 2004, leaving an estate of £486,000 between three charities had deliberately excluded her only child from benefitting under the estate, having been estranged from her for 26 years and even took such measures as to specifically instruct her Executors to defend any claim that her daughter may bring.

Mrs Ilott, as a child of the deceased, brought a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 that ‘reasonable financial provision’ had not been made for her. At first instance, an award of £50,000 was made, based on Mrs Ilott’s financial circumstances (amongst other factors). However, she was not satisfied with this amount and appealed. On her first appeal it was held that the District Judge had erred in awarding Mrs Ilott £50,000, such an award undermining the principle of testamentary freedom (that one can leave assets as they wish). However, in her latest appeal, Mrs Ilott was awarded the greater sum of £164,000.

This ruling highlights the need for expert legal advice when considering making a Will. Here at Girlings, our Private Client team ensure that your Will is drafted based on your personal circumstances and your individual wishes. Please call your nearest office for more information on how we can assist you.

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