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Permission given to animal charities to appeal Ilott’s Will award and take case to Supreme Court

In July last year there was lots of media coverage after a British Appeal Court overturned a mothers Will and sided in favour of her estranged daughter.The disputed Will involves a £500,000 estate that a woman left to three animal charities she had no previous relationship with. The mother, Melita Jackson, had deliberately left her estranged daughter out of her Will ensuring she was left with nothing when she died.

The legal dispute has lasted a decade and was thought to have been concluded last year when a British Appeal Court awarded the daughter £164,000 of the estate on the grounds that she had not been given ‘reasonable financial provision’.

The Lady Justice Arden awarded the daughter a portion of the state because the daughter was living on very basic subsistence which equated to an annual household income of under £7,000 and state benefits of around £13,000. She said that the daughters living costs… ‘are at such a basic level that they outweigh the importance that would normally be attached to the fact that the appellant is an adult child who has been living independently for so many years’.

The charities named in the Will were very disappointed with this ground breaking ruling and appealed to the Supreme Court who gave the charities, including Blue Cross, the RSPCA and the RSPB, permission to appeal.

The Supreme Court will look at whether the appeal court was right make the award under the 1975 Inheritance Act and whether it was right to structure an award to allowed the daughter to still be entitled to state benefits.

Making a Will is really important, even if you think you are too young, it is important to make your wishes known in the untimely event of your death. By having a comprehensive and professionally written Will you can provide for a partner or spouse and eliminate the problems that can arise when no Will is left. It also allows you to choose how your property and possessions are dealt with in the event of your death and who you would like to execute your estate.

A Will also enables you to create a financial framework for your children that will ensure they are looked after until they are old enough to do this for themselves, as well as give direction as to who will look after them. There are other financial related benefits of making a Will such as charitable donations and tax liabilities that our expert team can help you plan for.

Without a Will the way is left open for issues such as family disputes, tax liabilities may be greater and your estate may not be divided in the way you had wished.

We recognise that these can be difficult and emotional experiences but we will help to ensure that you obtain the best legal advice in which to financially safeguard your future. For more information and advice contact our team of Wills, trusts and estate planning solicitors today on FREEPHONE 0800 1979 345, or complete our simple enquiry form. We are pleased to confirm that we can now offer Standard Wills for £95 + VAT.