News

Daughter successfully challenges exclusion from her Mother’s Will

  • August 03, 2015
  • By Hunters Law

A daughter who had been cut out of her Mother’s Estate has successfully challenged the Will and been awarded £164,000 by the Court.

In Ilott v Mitson ([2015] EWCA Civ 797) the Court of Appeal has confirmed that a Will which fails to make reasonable provision for an adult child can be challenged. Once the threshold test has been met, the question is one of quantification. The successful appellant was estranged from her late Mother who made no provision for her in her Will, instead leaving her Estate to three animal charities.

A challenge was brought under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (“the Act”); initially Ms Ilott was awarded £50,000, then appealed to the High Court and eventually to the Court of Appeal who have now awarded her £164,000, about 1/3 of the net Estate.

It is rare for an adult child who can work to succeed in a claim under the Act. Here the Court of Appeal appears to have been influenced by the fact that the Mother had no connection with the charities during her lifetime and that they had no financial “need” whereas Ms Ilott clearly did. An award under the Act is in the discretion of the Court and all such cases are fact specific. It is unlikely that this case will see the floodgates being opened but two messages flow from the judgments – (1) if making a will, leave clear & cogent instructions why an individual who would otherwise be a beneficiary is being excluded and (2) if you are a disappointed adult beneficiary the door does appear to have been pushed ajar.

Such claims require specialist legal advice. Please contact the partner at Hunters having responsibility for your legal matters, or (for new enquiries) please contact a member of our Dispute Resolution team or our Family team, or our Private Client team to discuss your Will.

Related News

May 11, 2022
Vanina Wittenburg examines the impact of the pandemic for probates and discusses hope for the future in Taxation
Apr 12, 2022
Vanina Wittenburg examines how the pandemic has affected the probate system and hope for the future in the FTAdviser
Mar 31, 2022
Vanina Wittenburg discusses the importance of wills for young adults in Today’s Wills & Probate
Mar 21, 2022
Vanina Wittenburg comments on the impact of the BVD cutting the funding of will searches, in This is Money
Feb 02, 2022
Vanina Wittenburg is a full member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP)
Jan 25, 2022
Flora Nelmes discusses the steps involved in insuring an unoccupied property following a death in Lawyer Monthly
Jan 17, 2022
Probate Application Fee Increase
Dec 13, 2021
Flora Nelmes says that clients should review their existing wills and consider IHT opportunities with the RNRB to remain fixed until April 2026 in Accountancy Daily
Dec 01, 2021
Flora Nelmes discusses the opportunities to review existing wills and explore IHT, as the residence nil rate band is to remain frozen until April 2026, in Lawyer Monthly
Oct 28, 2021
Doubling of time limit for payment of CGT on residential property transactions

© Hunters Law LLP 2022 | Privacy NoticeLegal & Regulatory | Cookies Policy | Complaints Procedure.

Hunters Law LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (number 657218)