After a decade-long legal fight with three animal welfare charities over her mother’s decision to cut her out of any inheritance, a poverty-stricken daughter has finally been awarded £164,000 by senior judges.
The ruling by the court of appeal is further evidence that wills deemed to be unreasonable can be overturned or varied by the courts.
Want to cut that wastrel son or daughter out of your will? Well, now you can’t. Just as in France.
Jackson, who died aged 70 in 2004, never forgave her daughter, 54, for eloping with her boyfriend when she was only 17, the court in London heard. She left her daughter nothing, bequeathing instead her estate, worth nearly £500,000, to three charities: The Blue Cross, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.In 2007, the county court first awarded Ilott £50,000 on the grounds that her mother had acted in an “unreasonable, capricious and harsh” way to her daughter.
Who are you to decide where your money should go after death? You clearly aren’t rational, no matter if you did leave clear instructions when you were undoubtedly of sound mind…
It was not Ilott’s fault that her mother took against her, said the QC. “Heather had an unreasonable, capricious and harsh mother. Mrs Jackson took offence at Heather’s choices although they were choices she was entitled to make and it was reasonable to expect her mother to accept.
The daughter was entitled to make choices. Her mother clearly wasn’t. And so the courts strip away any agency we have, even after death.