Ilot -v- Mitson  Court of Appeal
In a landmark judgment, the Court of Appeal has made it easier for adult children to challenge wills and obtain reasonable provision.
Melita Jackson left almost £500,000 to various charities and made no provision for her daughter, Heather Ilot. In fact, Mrs Jackson specifically indicated that nothing should be left to her daughter and that should she attempt to challenge the will in this respect, she should be fought at court. Mrs Ilot and her five children were not financially dependant upon Mrs Jackson, although she was on benefits at the time of Mrs Jackson’s death.
Mrs Ilot decided to bring a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 claiming that her mother had not made reasonable financial provision for her.
The Court of Appeal concluded that no reasonable provision was provided to Mrs Ilot and awarded her £143,000 to buy the house she was renting. This was a significant increase from the £50,000 awarded by the first instance Court.
Every case will turn upon its own facts, but it is fair to say that judgment will make it much easier for adult children to make claims and challenge wills where their parents do not make reasonable provision for them. IN each case, the Court will always consider the various factors in s.3 of the 1975 Act in determining what (if any) provision to make.