London probate valuation specialists Avery Associates explain how under English law, the testator is free to leave their property by will, to anybody he or she wishes, including leaving it all to charity. In a recent case, an elderly mother left her £500,000 property for equal division between two charities. She was a widow and had a daughter whom she had rarely seen since her daughter left the house at the age of 17. His daughter had known for some time she had been excluded from the will of her father. But when her father died, she made a claim against the estate. Regarding probate valuation and under the Inheritance (Family and employees, Reserve) Act of 1975, dependants of the deceased may apply for provision out of the estate on the ground that the testator did not provide adequate funding for the applicant. In deciding if to make a provision for the applicant, the court must follow certain guidelines that are included here.
The financial resources and needs of the applicant and other beneficiaries.
The deceased’s moral obligations towards the applicant and other beneficiaries.
The size of the estate
The physical or mental disability of an applicant or beneficiaries
Anything that may be relevant, including the conduct of the applicant.
The daughter, who was in her early forties, married with five children, lived in Council Housing and had been in receipt of benefits for the majority of her life. The judge granted the girl £ 50,000.The girl wanted more, and has appealed against the decision, and the charities also appealed that the daughter should not have received anything at all. On appeal, the Judge concluded that the fact that the daughter was in financial difficulties was only one of the factors he had considered. The fact that the father had made a conscious decision to omit his daughter form his will, and that the daughter had this knowledge, was also a factor. On appeal the second Judge decided that the first Judge was wrong in awarding the daughter anything from of the estate.This does not mean that it’s not possible for a dissatisfied child, or any other dependent to form a case against an estate if they have been omitted from a Will. However, if a testator has the clear intention to disinherit any person, those wishes will carry great weight. This case illustrates that to ensure that your wishes are carried out, it is extremely important to make a clear and comprehensive Will. Please feel free to contact us to make a no obligation free initial meeting to discuss your wishes or to find out more about our services.
Avery Associates offer free advice on all probate matters, and can be contacted on 0800 567 7769