Posted by James McNeile, Partner
On 1 September 2016 Withy King LLP merged with Royds LLP. The trading name for the merged firm is Royds Withy King. All content produced prior to this date will remain in the name of the firms pre-merger.
Supreme Court to consider Will dispute
A bitter will dispute is set to be considered by the highest court in the UK.
The Supreme Court has this month agreed to examine the case of Heather Ilott, who was last year awarded around a third of her mother’s estate.
The ruling by a lower court was in spite of instructions left by Ms Ilott’s mother, Melita Jackson, that her assets be shared between three animal charities.
While mother and daughter were estranged, a Judge previously ruled that Mrs Jackson had behaved in an “unreasonable, capricious and harsh way” towards her only child.
The organisations who were the main beneficiaries of the original will – the Blue Cross, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and the RSPCA – have appealed against the decision to award the daughter a sizeable share of the £486,000 fortune.
The hearing takes place at a time when a growing number of legal challenges are being brought under the Inheritance Act 1975.
According to figures from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), the High Court alone heard a total of 178 probate disputes in 2014, almost double the number in the previous year.
Tony Millson, Head of Private Client at Royds says:-
“The outcome of the Supreme Court case could have implications for a number of grown-up children who feel they have been treated badly in a will”.
For legal advice on drafting or updating a will, please contact Tony Millson and Deanna Hurst in Royds’ Private Client team.