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Landmark ruling awards daughter excluded from mother’s will a third of the value of the estate

Melita Jackson died in 2004 and under her will she left all of her estate to animal charities with no provision for her daughter.

The daughter, Heather Ilott was excluded as a beneficiary of the will after her mother refused to forgive her for eloping with her boyfriend at the age of 17. Mrs Ilott had applied to the Court on the grounds that her mother had not made reasonable provision for her in her will and the Court of Appeal ruled in her favour, awarding her over £160,000.

The case hinged on the fact that Melita Jackson had little connection with the charities that she left her estate to. The ruling is expected to give rise to further claims from disinherited children and anyone planning to disinherit their children in their will in future will need to give reasons and explain their connection to any charities that are named as beneficiaries.

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