What if an individual feels that they have been inadequately provided for in a will?
This might result in a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. The law allows close family members and dependents to apply to the Courts for reasonable financial provision from the estate, where there is inadequate provision in the will. Here, the will remains in place but the law protects individuals in certain circumstances. The Court’s award will depend very much on the individual facts.
In the case of Ilott v Blue Cross & Others, the deceased expressly excluded her estranged adult daughter, Mrs Ilott, from any benefit under her will by a written letter of wishes. Instead, she chose to leave her estate of £486,000 to three animal charities of her choice.
Mrs Ilott made a claim for financial provision from her mother’s estate, and on appeal, she was awarded £143,000 and a further £20,000 for ongoing maintenance. On further appeal to the Supreme Court, this decision was overturned and the Court reduced the award to Mrs Ilott to £50,000.