Court of Appeal Gives Landmark Will Challenge Ruling

This is a summary of a landmark Judgement that is mentioned below.

In a series of recent cases, the Courts seem to have become increasingly willing to uphold challenges brought by the adult non-dependant children of parents who have chosen to exclude them from their Wills. In what experts are describing as a landmark judgment published on 28 July 2015, the Court of Appeal has continued that trend. In a case in which the deceased had left £500,000 to an animal charity and nothing at all to her adult daughter, the Court ruled that although the daughter was not financially dependant on her mother at the time of death, she was still entitled in the particular circumstances of the case to ‘reasonable financial provision’ which the Court felt in this case was £164,000 being one third of the total estate. For many years Courts have been reluctant to disturb Wills unless the Claimant could show some financial dependency, but the situation now appears to be that the Courts are now willing to look at claims and assess the general fairness of them based on the particular facts. What does this mean for you? If you are thinking of making a Will that could be in any way controversial, then you should be sure to spell out exactly what your reasons for doing so are. If you think that a Will has unfairly excluded you, then your chances of successfully challenging it seem to be better than they once were. For specialist advice on any of these matters, please contact us.

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