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Deserving or undeserving adult children?

Margaret Windram considers the Supreme Court decision on reasonable financial provision in Ilott v Blue Cross

28 March 2017

Judgment in Ilott v Blue Cross [2017] UKSC 17 was given by Lord Hughes, but Lady Hale added to it to highlight the unsatisfactory state of the present law, which gives no guidance on the factors to take into account in deciding whether an adult child is deserving or undeserving of reasonable maintenance in a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.

Mrs Ilott brought her claim against the estate of her mother, Mrs Jackson, who left everything to charities with whom she had no previous connection, directing her executors to resist any claim from her daughter. Ilott, estranged from her mother for 26 years, lived in difficult financial circumstances. At first instance, she was awarded £50,000. After appeal and the Court of Appeal sending the case back to the High Court, which upheld the original order, Ilott appealed to the Court of Appeal, which made its own evaluation and aw...

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