16 March 2017 by

Landmark Supreme Court Ruling

Yesterday the Supreme Court unanimously allowed the charities’ appeal on the question of reasonable financial provision for an estranged adult child in the highly publicised case of Ilott v Mitson.

The case concerned an estranged adult daughter, Mrs Ilott who was disinherited by her mother in favour of several charities.

Mrs Ilott brought a claim against her late mother’s estate under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. She received an award of £50,000 but she appealed against this award on the basis that it was too low and deprived her of means-tested benefits.

After a lengthy appeals process, the Court of Appeal awarded Mrs Ilott £143,000 to buy the house she lived in and an option to receive a further £20,000 in one or more instalments.

The charities appealed against this decision, and permission was granted by the Supreme Court. On 15 March 2017 the Supreme Court handed down its decision, allowing the charities’ appeal and reinstating the award of £50,000 made by the first District Judge at trial.

This is the first time that a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 has been considered by the UK’s highest Court and provides guidance to both practitioners and testators on what constitutes ‘reasonable financial provision’ within the meaning of the Act.

We are dissecting the Judgment and a full breakdown will follow next week.

You can also contact one of our other solicitors in the Disputed Wills and Trusts team here.

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