Ilott v The Blue Cross
The Supreme Court has today handed down judgment on the landmark case of Ilott v The Blue Cross (previously Ilott v Mitson) the first claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 ever to be considered at this level. The case history saw Mrs Heather Ilott claim against the will of her mother, who had left her entire estate to charity and was awarded £50,000 at the local county court. Dissatisfied by the result, Mrs Ilott appealed the decision and was awarded £143,00 at the court of appeal, this was contested by the charity at Supreme court. The decision by Supreme Court was that the lesser sum of £50,000 to the claimant, Mrs Heather Ilott the daughter of the testator Mrs Melita Jackson, was restored and the remaining estate be given to the charity.
Jessica Neyt a partner in Knights’ Contentious Probate team said: “The Supreme Court’s decision is likely to have ramifications for many testators as well as more directly for litigation under the 1975 Act. The Supreme Court highlighted the significance of testamentary freedom and the importance of autonomous decision-making when choosing who should benefit from a person’s estate after their death.”