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Ilott v Mitson – Supreme Court Judgement

The Judgement of the Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Ilott  v The Blue Cross and others [2017] UKSC 17  [also known as Ilott v Mitson] was given this morning. The decision of the Supreme Court. unanimously overturned that of the Court of Appeal which allowed an adult child to claim against the estate of her late mother even though she excluded her from inheriting under the terms of her Will. The Court of Appeal had awarded  Heather Ilott £143,000 to buy the rented home in which she lived with her husband  and children as well as an extra £20,000 additional income. The judgement means that the decision of the pervious District Judge will be re-instated leaving Ilott with the original award of £50,000.

Court considers lack of capacity and want of knowledge and approval

The recent case of Lloyd v Jones and others [2016] EWHC 1308 has provided insight into the Court’s approach when it considers a challenge to a Will based on lack of capacity.

The Deceased and testatrix was Mrs Harris was held to have had capacity at the time she made her will against evidence to the contrary which alleged that the testatrix had been suffering with delusions of witches and space beings at her farm.

Removal of Executors- Clash of the siblings

In the case of Wilby v Rigby [2015], the court held under s50 of the Administration of Estates Act 1985 that both executors of an estate were to be removed in favour of an independent administrator. The executors and parties were brother and sister, both appointed equally with equal shares in the estate.

Contested Wills and Contesting Probate

It is important to distinguish between a contested will and contesting probate.

Contested wills

If there are concerns about the validity of a will then you may be able to contest it. The first step when you have concerns about the validity of a will is to apply for a caveat. This is by way of application to the Probate Registry. The cost of applying for a caveat is relatively small and we can assist you with this. This will ensure a grant of probate cannot be taken out for a period of six months.

Contesting a Will Time Limits

It is fundamentally important to establish the correct time limit at the outset of any claim. There are a number of possible time limits in probate and inheritance claims, which will all depend upon the individual circumstances of each case. Contesting a will can be tricky, there are a number of different avenues to potentially follow, and so it is important you seek legal advice about contesting a will and time limits for contesting a will as quickly as possible.

Solicitor’s insurer liable for costs of negligently drafted mirror wills

In the recent Supreme Court case of Marley v Rawlings and another, a solicitor’s insurer has been ordered to pay the costs of both parties in litigation after mirror wills were incorrectly executed as a result of a solicitor’s negligence.  The insurer was ordered to pay both parties costs of the action to rectify the wills on the basis that the insurer had funded the litigation by urging one of the parties to commence litigation in order to mitigate the insured solicitor’s position.

When is an interest not an interest, or who can challenge a Will?

Latest blog from our Wills, Trusts & Probate  department.

The recent case of Randall v Randall [2014 EWHC 3134] has shone a bright light on the question of who has the right to challenge a Will. Essentially, the person bringing the action must have an interest in the estate. So the question then is, what is an interest in an estate for these purposes?

“But Mum Was Happy to Spend the Money” – When an Attorney is Too Generous to Themselves

Two recent cases illustrate the dim view which the Court of Protection takes when an attorney helps themselves to the assets of the person they are looking after (“the Donor”).

In both the cases, it is striking that the attorney had an excellent relationship with the Donor and looked after them with proper care and affection. However, this did not stop the Court from revoking the powers of attorney and doling out some heavy criticism.

Promise Leads to Inheritance

In an interesting ruling last week, the High Court reaffirmed the principle that, in certain circumstances, a person can inherit from an estate based solely upon a promise.

In this case, the carer of a Holocaust survivor won her right to an inheritance against a TV “heir hunter”. Mrs Gertrude Stanley made London her home after fleeing Vienna in 1939.

Mrs Stanley did not believe she had any living relatives, her sister having died in a concentration camp.

Man Wins Inheritance Over Animal Charities

The court has ruled in the favour of 58 year old Kenneth King meaning he will inherit his aunt’s £350,000 house.

Mr King resided in his aunt’s property from June 2007 and is said to have cared for her in her old age. Under her Will, the aunt, Miss Fairbrother, left her estate to seven animal charities but Mr King argued that shortly before her death, Miss Fairbrother gifted him her property by handing over the deeds and stated that he was to have the house when she had died.

Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Act: Opening The Flood-Gates on Claims Against The Estate?

Latest blog from our Wills, Trusts & Probate department.

Many people are now aware of the ability to bring a claim against a deceased’s estate under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (“IPFDA”). In order for a claim to be successful the applicant must overcome two hurdles.

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Myerson Solicitors LLP
Grosvenor House, 20 Barrington Road, Altrincham, Cheshire, WA14 1HB

Tel: +44 (0)161 941 4000

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