The Supreme Court has overturned the decision of the Court of Appeal to considerably reduce the sum awarded to a daughter out of her mother’s estate, all of which had been left to charity.
The daughter, Mrs Ilot had made an application to the court under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 under which people with certain relationships to the deceased are able to apply for provision for their reasonable maintenance out of the deceased’s estate where they do not think the will/intestacy law provides for them sufficiently or at all.
The Court of Appeal had awarded Mrs Ilot the sum of £143,000. The Supreme Court overturned this decision awarding her only £50,000, this being the sum she was originally awarded by the county court. The decision is interesting in that it provides useful insight into the court’s approach to what is “reasonable” financial provision. Although cases of this nature are very fact specific, it suggests that the court will award only what it sees as necessary for maintenance even where the claimant’s financial circumstances are poor and will not allow the claimant to be enriched at the expense of testamentary freedom.
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