Who Determines Who Inherits Your Estate?

Posted: 26th April 2011

A recent case will cause concern to anyone who has a specific wish that their estate should not pass to certain people. It involved a woman who left an estate of more than £400,000, which she wished to go to various animal charities.

The woman had a daughter, from whom she had been estranged for more than 25 years. She had written a letter explaining exactly why she did not want her daughter to benefit under her will.
The daughter, despite not having had any form of support from her mother since the estrangement, sought a share of the estate by making a claim under the legislation designed to grant relief to people who are dependent on a person who dies without making reasonable provision for them.
The Court of Appeal accepted the daughter’s claim, apparently on the ground that she was not well off and was a deserving case. So, despite her mother’s specific wish, she stands to inherit such sum as the court will later determine constitutes ‘reasonable provision’.
If you are concerned that your assets may fall into the hands of someone undeserving, we can advise you on the steps to take to help make sure this does not occur.