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The death of testamentary freedom?

You will not always have the final say on who inherits your estate. Certain categories of family members may now be able to successfully challenge your will if you exclude them

4 August 2015

In Ilott v Mitson [2015] EWCA Civ 797, Melita Jackson left her £500,000 estate, subject to one small legacy, to three charities; the Blue Cross, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. She did this to the exclusion of her only daughter, Heather Ilott.

Mrs Jackson and Mrs Ilott had been estranged for 26 years following Mrs Jackson's disapproval of her daughter's relationship with her now-husband. When drawing up her will Mrs Jackson expressed that she did not want her daughter to benefit in any way from her estate, requesting that her executors fight any claim that her daughter might make after her death.

Following Mrs Jackson's death, Mrs Ilott made a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975, for 'reasonable financial provision' from her mother's ...

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