Mrs. Ilott vs Mrs. Jackson
The right of people to leave money and assets to whom they wish in their Will has been seriously undermined by a landmark court ruling, lawyers warned.
A woman has been awarded £164,000 from her estranged mother’s estate, even though the mother expressly stated in her will that she did not want her child to receive a penny.
Melita Jackson left her £500,000 estate to animal charities when she died in 2004. But after an eight-year court battle, her only daughter, Heather Ilott, 54, was granted a third of that money on the grounds that her mother did not leave “reasonable provision” for her in the will.
The Court of Appeal ruled that Mrs. Ilott would otherwise face a life of poverty because she was on benefits and could not afford to go on holiday or buy clothes for her children.
Is this normal for a court to overturn a Will like this?
The answer is simply, no. However, in this case, the main reasoning for the judges to decide against Mrs. Jackson's party was because she had little or no association with her named charities, for which she named as the beneficiaries of her estate. Basically, insinuating that Mrs. Jackson was preventing her daughter from inheriting her estate out of spite. Another major factor was that Mrs. Ilott was in receipt of benefits and dependant on the State.
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