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    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 15th Mar 17, 9:57 AM
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    Yorkshireman99
    Supreme Court Ilott judgement.
    • #1
    • 15th Mar 17, 9:57 AM
    Supreme Court Ilott judgement. 15th Mar 17 at 9:57 AM
    www.supremcourt.uk for full details.
Page 2
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 17th Mar 17, 10:01 AM
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    Yorkshireman99
    I suggest you read what Mrs Ilott's mother said in her will which makes it quite clear that she did not want her daughter to inherit anything and gave specific instructions that the executors were to strongly contest any attempt to vary the will in Mrs. Ilott's favour. Given that she was well aware that her daughter was in very poor financial circumstances shows that she was a nasty and vindictive person. What decent grandparent would fail to make some provision in her will to alleviate the poverty that her grandchildren had lived in all their lives? That is the issue that needs addressing as far as making provision for families.
    • TW1234
    • By TW1234 17th Mar 17, 10:03 AM
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    TW1234
    You need to read the full judgement to understand all the nuances. Have you done that? (read the judgement)
    Originally posted by Yorkshireman99
    Yes. ---It keeps the legal fraternity very productively engaged.

    My interpretation is that it clarifies that the Family Inheritance Act requires testators to be aware that a child (even when adult) can apply for provision from the estate if their circumstances are not "reasonable" at the relevant time. What would be considered to be reasonable may vary, but is not solely determined by the testator and it would appear that dependence solely on state benefits would never be considered reasonable.
    This consideration applies first and overrides any consideration of whether it was "reasonable" for the testator to disinherit the child.
    So how in general (and not saying that it applies in Ilott case) could a testator avoid a parasitic and indolent offspring claiming some of the estate ?
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 17th Mar 17, 10:09 AM
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    Yorkshireman99
    Yes. ---It keeps the legal fraternity very productively engaged.

    My interpretation is that it clarifies that the Family Inheritance Act requires testators to be aware that a child (even when adult) can apply for provision from the estate if their circumstances are not "reasonable" at the relevant time. What would be considered to be reasonable may vary, but is not solely determined by the testator and it would appear that dependence solely on state benefits would never be considered reasonable.
    This consideration applies first and overrides any consideration of whether it was "reasonable" for the testator to disinherit the child.
    So how in general (and not saying that it applies in Ilott case) could a testator avoid a parasitic and indolent offspring claiming some of the estate ?
    Originally posted by TW1234
    I think that is what the Government needs to address as has already been investigated by the Law Commission. It is not an easy balance to strike between making reasonable provision for those in need and preventing abuse of such a provision.
    • TW1234
    • By TW1234 17th Mar 17, 10:12 AM
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    TW1234
    Perhaps a bit off topic, but are the solicitors who are involved the same Wright-Hassall ones who are active in car park enforcement and crop up on the MSE Motoring Parking board?
    • securityguy
    • By securityguy 17th Mar 17, 10:43 AM
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    securityguy
    I agree with YM: the will is the stuff of Reddit's "Just No MIL" sub, and the deceased comes over as bitter, spiteful and unpleasant. Those sorts of family disputes (and Just No MIL has several which end with the mother or mother in law in jail) are toxic. One of the sadder things to read are the deluded mothers on Gransnet who endless whine on how their children wanting nothing to do with them is unfair, abusive, etc; you only have to read their postings for a few minutes to see exactly why their children want nothing to do with them. They have presumably reckoned that the loss of any inheritance is worth it to be rid of the negative spite.

    That said, firstly we don't know all the facts (as we only have the testimony of the daughter) and second, even if the will was the product of savage spite, if people want to behave like (censored), testamentary freedom is just that, freedom. If people want to use their wills to continue by legal means a lifetime of spite and unpleasantness, then I think the cure (state intervention into bequests more generally, and the picking over of wills to check they are "acceptable") is worse than the disease (a very small number of cases in which unpleasant people are unpleasant).

    As things stand, you can be a (censored) in your will with freedom. If you want people to hate you after your death, knock yourself out.
    • Malthusian
    • By Malthusian 17th Mar 17, 11:15 AM
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    Malthusian
    I suggest you read what Mrs Ilott's mother said in her will which makes it quite clear that she did not want her daughter to inherit anything and gave specific instructions that the executors were to strongly contest any attempt to vary the will in Mrs. Ilott's favour. Given that she was well aware that her daughter was in very poor financial circumstances shows that she was a nasty and vindictive person.
    Originally posted by Yorkshireman99
    Nonsense. They were in very poor financial circumstances because she and her husband were long-term unemployed. That was not Mrs Jackson's fault and she was under no moral obligation to give them free money either before or after death.

    I make no judgements on the Ilotts' life choices, the benefits system is what it is and it's a free country. The bit I take issue with is whether their mother has an obligation to subsidise them even further on top of what she already paid via her taxes.

    What decent grandparent would fail to make some provision in her will to alleviate the poverty that her grandchildren had lived in all their lives?
    As all attempts at reconciliation had broken down she had no idea what kind of people her grandchildren were, and so she had no idea whether the money would alleviate their poverty or simply be squandered. Apparently she thought the animal charities would make better use of it.
    • TW1234
    • By TW1234 17th Mar 17, 11:47 AM
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    TW1234
    As things stand, you can be a (censored) in your will with freedom. If you want people to hate you after your death, knock yourself out.
    Originally posted by securityguy
    I do not think that you are correct.
    Although the testator may wish to be an absolute (censored), the courts have determined that they can be only partially successful as they must make reasonable provision for a child despite the testator's wish to not do so.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 17th Mar 17, 11:52 AM
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    getmore4less
    I do not think that you are correct.
    Although the testator may wish to be an absolute (censored), the courts have determined that they can be only partially successful they must make reasonable provision for a child despite the testator's wish to not do so.
    Originally posted by TW1234
    that is not what the law says.
    • TW1234
    • By TW1234 17th Mar 17, 4:01 PM
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    TW1234
    that is not what the law says.
    Originally posted by getmore4less
    Then why was Ilott awarded £50k ?
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 17th Mar 17, 4:54 PM
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    getmore4less
    There is no requirement in law for the testator to make any provision, that lies with the court if one of the qualifying people makes a claim.
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 17th Mar 17, 5:56 PM
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    Yorkshireman99
    Nonsense. They were in very poor financial circumstances because she and her husband were long-term unemployed. That was not Mrs Jackson's fault and she was under no moral obligation to give them free money either before or after death.

    I make no judgements on the Ilotts' life choices, the benefits system is what it is and it's a free country. The bit I take issue with is whether their mother has an obligation to subsidise them even further on top of what she already paid via her taxes.



    As all attempts at reconciliation had broken down she had no idea what kind of people her grandchildren were, and so she had no idea whether the money would alleviate their poverty or simply be squandered. Apparently she thought the animal charities would make better use of it.
    Originally posted by Malthusian
    To use your word that is nonsense. However, the real point is not so much this case as to why the Law Commission/Government have not addressed the general principle. Many jurisdictions, including that in Scotland, have a very different way of dealing with it. There are sound arguments on both sides. Personally I tend towards the concept of testatmatory freedom but there can be cases where circumstances warrant state intervention. I can't see any easy answer.
    • TW1234
    • By TW1234 17th Mar 17, 8:14 PM
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    TW1234
    There is no requirement in law for the testator to make any provision, that lies with the court if one of the qualifying people makes a claim.
    Originally posted by getmore4less
    Agreed, but in practice it does mean that a testator does not have power to ensure that a child (even when adult) can be disinherited, as if the testator does not make reasonable provision for them, even if it would be reasonable to not do so, the court can do so.

    This will surprise many and destroy a common belief.
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 17th Mar 17, 9:52 PM
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    Yorkshireman99
    Agreed, but in practice it does mean that a testator does not have power to ensure that a child (even when adult) can be disinherited, as if the testator does not make reasonable provision for them, even if it would be reasonable to not do so, the court can do so.

    This will surprise many and destroy a common belief.
    Originally posted by TW1234
    Indeed. However, the testator can, either in the will, or by giving an explanation to the solicitor who drafts the will as to why they wish to disinherit particular person(s). I am told it is now standard practice. Certainly my solicitor has asked for my rerasoning even though I have only distant cousins as my closest family. If such person(s) then made a claim the Court would, AIUI, look at the reasons to see if they justfied the testator's actions. This seems a reasonable way to deal with the problem.
    • FreeBear
    • By FreeBear 17th Mar 17, 11:39 PM
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    FreeBear
    There is no requirement in law for the testator to make any provision, that lies with the court if one of the qualifying people makes a claim.
    Originally posted by getmore4less
    And the judge still has to base his decision on the seven Sec.3 tests of the Inheritance Act. namely -
    (a)the financial resources and financial needs which the applicant has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;

    (b)the financial resources and financial needs which any other applicant for an order under section 2 of this Act has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;

    (c)the financial resources and financial needs which any beneficiary of the estate of the deceased has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;

    (d)any obligations and responsibilities which the deceased had towards any applicant for an order under the said section 2 or towards any beneficiary of the estate of the deceased;

    (e)the size and nature of the net estate of the deceased;

    (f)any physical or mental disability of any applicant for an order under the said section 2 or any beneficiary of the estate of the deceased;

    (g)any other matter, including the conduct of the applicant or any other person, which in the circumstances of the case the court may consider relevant.
    Just because Ilott got £50,000, there is no reason to expect the next case to go the same way. Indeed, if one is to look at another similar claim (a disinherited daughter, disabled, and reliant on state benefits), the judge dismissed the case - http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Ch/2014/3614.html
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    • konark
    • By konark 18th Mar 17, 1:51 AM
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    konark
    If the Ilotts are unemployed the 50 grand is likely to take them well over all the thresholds for means-tested benefits, so they are going to have to spend it on everyday living until they are down to their last £6,000.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 18th Mar 17, 7:58 AM
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    Pollycat
    If the Ilotts are unemployed the 50 grand is likely to take them well over all the thresholds for means-tested benefits, so they are going to have to spend it on everyday living until they are down to their last £6,000.
    Originally posted by konark
    It said this:
    The sum was increased by the appeal court in 2015 - £140,000 to buy her housing association property, and another £20,000 structured to allow her to keep her state benefits.
    here:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-39278921

    I think the bit in bold ^^^^ is very wrong.
    Any other person claiming benefits would be investigated for fraud.

    Obviously that decision in the link has now been overturned.
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 18th Mar 17, 9:14 AM
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    Yorkshireman99
    It said this:
    here:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-39278921

    I think the bit in bold ^^^^ is very wrong.
    Any other person claiming benefits would be investigated for fraud.

    Obviously that decision in the link has now been overturned.
    Originally posted by Pollycat
    There is nothing fraudulent at all. Structuring the award simply means that it would be made in several stages. That would mean that the limits that would have caused benefits to be reduced would not be breached.nor would the rules on deprivation of assets apply. Not to have done so would have meant that the effective value of the ward would have been negated by loss of benefits.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 18th Mar 17, 9:20 AM
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    Pollycat
    There is nothing fraudulent at all. Structuring the award simply means that it would be made in several stages. That would mean that the limits that would have caused benefits to be reduced would not be breached.nor would the rules on deprivation of assets apply. Not to have done so would have meant that the effective value of the ward would have been negated by loss of benefits.
    Originally posted by Yorkshireman99
    You've misunderstood - I didn't say it was fraudulent.

    My point was - if I were to claim benefits and had £20k stuffed away, I'd be investigated for fraud.
    This woman was given £20k but in such a way that she could keep claiming benefits.
    If I was on benefits and someone left me £20k in their will, would I be allowed to structure the provision of that £20k so it didn't affect my benefits?
    No, I wouldn't.
    Last edited by Pollycat; 18-03-2017 at 10:46 AM.
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 18th Mar 17, 11:58 AM
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    Yorkshireman99
    You've misunderstood - I didn't say it was fraudulent.

    My point was - if I were to claim benefits and had £20k stuffed away, I'd be investigated for fraud.
    This woman was given £20k but in such a way that she could keep claiming benefits.
    If I was on benefits and someone left me £20k in their will, would I be allowed to structure the provision of that £20k so it didn't affect my benefits?
    No, I wouldn't.
    Originally posted by Pollycat
    I think the misuderstanding is yours. The court can order the payments to be made at intervals so that the limits are not breached. She will not get the whole awrd in one go. If that was not done it would negate the value of the award. There is nothing unusual or unreasonable about that.With a legacy the whole amount is due in one lump sum and there is no mechanism to stage it.
    Last edited by Yorkshireman99; 18-03-2017 at 3:20 PM.
    • iammumtoone
    • By iammumtoone 18th Mar 17, 12:09 PM
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    iammumtoone
    I think the misuderstanding is yours. The court can order the payments to be made at intervals so that the limits are not breached. She will not get the whole awrd in one go. If that was not done it would negate the value of the award. There is nothing unusual or unreasonable about that.With a legacy the whole amount is due in one lump sum and there is no mechanism to satge it.
    Originally posted by Yorkshireman99
    Are you saying if someone wanted to leave a large sum of money to a person who claimed benefits, could they legally word the will in a way that 'drip fed' the money to the beneficiary to allow them to continue claiming benefits?

    Surely that can't be the case, that is so wrong.
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