Adult child excluded from Will

Reasonable provision for an adult child – Illot v Mitson revisited

A previous blog commented on the case of Illot v Mitson which had appeared to change the way in which the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 applied in the case of adult children.

The case of Illot, although very fact specific, appeared to widen the circumstances in which the Court was likely to find in favour of an adult child bringing a claim against a parent’s estate where they felt reasonable financial provision had not been made for them by that parent.

This led to a need to exercise additional caution when excluding an adult child from a Will and legal advice should be sought if this is a person’s intention.

The Illot case divided opinion and attracted widespread media attention, largely because the decision was made by the Court of Appeal and represented a significant departure from previous case law. It appears that the matter is far from being finally determined as the charities in the case who lost out financially as a result of the adult child being granted provision from the estate have now been granted permission to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.

Decisions in the Courts will always depend on their own facts so there is no guarantee as to what may or may not happen, particularly when new law is being established and decisions are going through the appeals process.

If a person wishes to make a Will and exclude an adult child they should bear in mind that their Will may be overruled after their death by a judge and should seek legal advice on the issue.

If you would like advice on these issues please contact us.