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Many of us have read about the widely reported family feud resulting from Paul Daniels death. Apparently the late Paul Daniels left his entire estate to his Wife and expressed the wish that she looked after his sons with this. His adult son, however, is reportedly stating that he is not being looked after and is very upset about not being mentioned in the Will. This is now an all too common scenario due to the complications of modern family life i.e. children from different relationships and re-marriages. Many adult children who have not been included in their parents Wills are now bringing a claim against their estate for inheritance. This is possible under the Inheritance (Provision for Family Dependents) Act 1957. The Act states that reasonable financial provision should be made by a parent for their child. This definition is increasingly being extended to adult children. This has resulted in the High Court facing a 700% increase in claims disputing inheritance in the last 5 years.

A landmark case this year which appears to have made bringing such cases more popular is the case of Ilott v Mitson [2015] EWCA Civ 797. The case involved Mrs Jackson who passed away in 2004. She made a Will leaving all her estate between charities. The estate had a value of approximately £500,000. Her only child, Mrs Ilnot, was excluded from the Will due to them being estranged for many years. Mrs Ilnot brought a claim against the estate under the Inheritance (Provision for Family Dependents) Act 1975 for a share of her late mothers’ estate. At first instance she was awarded £50,000. She appealed to the High Court and was awarded £143,000 for a property and £20,000 to be paid in a way which would not affect her benefits. The charities are disappointed with the Court of Appeals decision and have appealed to the Supreme Court. The case is due to be heard by the Supreme Court on the 12th December 2016. Baches will be following the case very closely and will be reporting on the same. If the Supreme Court supports the Court of Appeal’s decision this could assist disinherited children like never before.

If you feel you have been excluded from a loved ones Will or you were financially dependent on them before they passed away, contact Baches Specialist Contested Probate team today for expert advice on 0121-554-3286 or e-mail annam.nasir@baches.co.uk

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