March 22, 2016

Supreme Court to consider Will dispute

The Supreme Court has this month agreed to examine the case of Heather Ilott, who was last year awarded around a third of her mother’s estate.

The ruling by a lower court was in spite of instructions left by Ms Ilott’s mother, Melita Jackson, that her assets be shared between three animal charities.

While mother and daughter were estranged, a Judge previously ruled that Mrs Jackson had behaved in an “unreasonable, capricious and harsh way” towards her only child.

The organisations who were the main beneficiaries of the original will – the Blue Cross, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and the RSPCA – have appealed against the decision to award the daughter a sizeable share of the £486,000 fortune.

The hearing takes place at a time when a growing number of legal challenges are being brought under the Inheritance Act 1975.

According to figures from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), the High Court alone heard a total of 178 probate disputes in 2014, almost double the number in the previous year.

Tony Millson, Head of Private Client at Royds says:-

“The outcome of the Supreme Court case could have implications for a number of grown-up children who feel they have been treated badly in a will”.

For legal advice on drafting or updating a will, please contact Tony Millson and Deanna Hurst in Royds’ Private Client team.

Share on: