What WILL you be leaving to your children?
In an interesting twist a judge has recently overturned an inheritance ruling, which saw a Hertfordshire woman being excluded from her mother’s will.
Heather Ilott of Ware has been in an eight-year battle to receive some of her mother’s £486,000 estate, which was subsequently left to animal charities.
Before her death in 2004, Melita Jackson clearly stated that she did not wish for her estranged daughter to receive any inheritance, instead she wanted her assets donated to the Blue Cross, RSPB and RSPCA.
However, in the latest hearing Lady Justice Arden regarded Mrs Jackson’s action as “unreasonable, capricious and harsh”, ruling that Mrs Ilott receive a third of the estate, £164,000 in total, whilst maintaining her state benefits.
Previously there were limited grounds when it came to inheritance disputes, with those disinherited having to prove their dependence on the deceased.
Gullands partner, Alex Astley, comments: “This ruling could weaken people’s right to leaving their assets to whomever they wish. While people can still disinherit their children they will now have to explain their connection to those that they are leaving their assets to, making it easier for adult disinherited children to challenge wills.”
Alex Astley is a partner and head of the Private client team at Gullands Solicitors and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01622 689700.