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Charities take battle over mother's will to the Supreme Court

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A high-profile case relating to a woman’s Will and how she decided to divide her assets is to be heard by the Supreme Court later this year.

A date of December 12th has now been set for Ilott (Respondent) v The Blue Cross and others, which is now to be considered by the highest court in the land.

The long-running legal battle concerns the estate of Melita Jackson, which had been left to a number of animal charities following the woman’s death over a decade ago.

Her estranged daughter, Heather Ilott, had challenged her late mother’s wishes and launched a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.

The courts eventually ruled that Ms Jackson had behaved in an “unreasonable” and “capricious” manner and her daughter was awarded a proportion of the money.

Lady Justice Arden accepted that Ms Ilott was living a “straitened” existence and ruled that £164,000 was a suitable sum.

Following the Court of Appeal’s decision last summer, three of the beneficiaries of Ms Jackson’s original Will appealed.

The Blue Cross, the RSPB and the RSPCA have argued that the interpretation of the Inheritance Act was wrong and are hoping that the Supreme Court’s Judges will set the previous judgment aside.

The progress of the case is being keenly observed as the eventual outcome could have significant implications for future inheritance disputes.