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  • FIRST POST
    • 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 3
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 18th Mar 17, 12:26 PM
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    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 satge it.
    Originally posted by Yorkshireman99
    No it's not mine.
    My point was - if I were to claim benefits (means tested, that is) and had £20k stuffed away, I'd be investigated for fraud.

    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
    Are you saying that I am wrong about this ^^^^?
    Are you saying that what iammumtoone asks below is actually true?
    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.
    Originally posted by iammumtoone
    If it is, then I agree that it is so wrong.

    'Cake and eat it' comes to mind.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 18th Mar 17, 1:47 PM
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    Pollycat
    Yorkshireman99

    I may not have explained myself fully regarding the £20K that was structured to Mrs Ilott in such a way to ensure she did not lose her means tested benefits.

    I've seen a few threads on various boards from posters asking about the impact on benefits if they receive an inheritance that takes them over the savings threshold.

    I've found one such thread:
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5557897&highlight=benefits

    on which you replied:
    The whole point of MTBs is that they are not paid to those who have cash reserves above a certain level. Why should the taxpayer subsidize those who have sufficient cash assets? It might, and I stress might, be possible to set up some kind of discretionary trust but even so she would probably have to declare the income.
    Originally posted by Yorkshireman99
    You appear to have a different opinion of that poster's situation to that of Mrs Ilott.
    Why is that?

    Why should the taxpayer subsidise Mrs Ilott who would have over £20K in cash assets?
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 18th Mar 17, 3:25 PM
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    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.
    Originally posted by iammumtoone
    That is not what I said. Quote "there is no mechanism to stage it." However a testator could set up a trust that provided for a beneficiary to receive income, but not the capital, at a level that did not affect benefits.
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 18th Mar 17, 3:36 PM
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    Yorkshireman99
    Yorkshireman99

    I may not have explained myself fully regarding the £20K that was structured to Mrs Ilott in such a way to ensure she did not lose her means tested benefits.

    I've seen a few threads on various boards from posters asking about the impact on benefits if they receive an inheritance that takes them over the savings threshold.

    I've found one such thread:
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5557897&highlight=benefits

    on which you replied:

    You appear to have a different opinion of that poster's situation to that of Mrs Ilott.
    Why is that?

    Why should the taxpayer subsidise Mrs Ilott who would have over £20K in cash assets?
    Originally posted by Pollycat
    She would not. That is the whole point of the Court structuring the award. If the Court just awarded the whole amount then the claimant would effectively receive nothing because it would be offset by a loss of benefits. Ultimately it is up to the Court to decide what is fair. Structuring awards in this way is quite common.
    • securityguy
    • By securityguy 18th Mar 17, 6:11 PM
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    securityguy
    That is not what I said. Quote "there is no mechanism to stage it." However a testator could set up a trust that provided for a beneficiary to receive income, but not the capital, at a level that did not affect benefits.
    Originally posted by Yorkshireman99
    They could, but the disregards on income on means-tested benefits are small.

    On the other hand, a lot of people appear not to realise that in the most usual case of legacies, benefits and children, that of children with disabilities, a lot of the benefits are not means-tested, and they are worrying about nothing.
    • securityguy
    • By securityguy 18th Mar 17, 6:19 PM
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    securityguy
    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
    The circumstances of this case were pretty much unique. Had the daughter been living a comfortable middle-class life, the outcome would have been entirely different (the case would have been, rightly, dismissed at the outset). Had the deceased left the money to other family members, or to charities with whom she had an established link, the outcome would almost certainly have been different. Had the daughter not had access to pro-bono lawyers the outcome would definitely have been different.

    All this case shows is that the 1975 Act is now drawn somewhat wider than it was before. S.3(1)(g), allowing a court to have regard to "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." still applies.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 18th Mar 17, 7:26 PM
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    Pollycat
    She would not. That is the whole point of the Court structuring the award. If the Court just awarded the whole amount then the claimant would effectively receive nothing because it would be offset by a loss of benefits. Ultimately it is up to the Court to decide what is fair. Structuring awards in this way is quite common.
    Originally posted by Yorkshireman99
    'She would not.....' what?
    I'll ask again- why should this woman be treated more favourably financially than someone who is on benefits and just inherited £20K that takes them over the threshold for means-tested benefits?

    I do understand that if the court awarded her the full £20K, she would lose MTB.
    But why should she have an award structured in such a way when other beneficiaries don't?
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 18th Mar 17, 9:51 PM
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    Yorkshireman99
    'She would not.....' what?
    I'll ask again- why should this woman be treated more favourably financially than someone who is on benefits and just inherited £20K that takes them over the threshold for means-tested benefits?

    I do understand that if the court awarded her the full £20K, she would lose MTB.
    But why should she have an award structured in such a way when other beneficiaries don't?
    Originally posted by Pollycat
    I am not defending the system in any way just trying to explain what it is! The difference is that in one case it is a legacy but in the other the Court is awarding money under entirely separate legislation in a way that is analogous to damages. I fully accept that there are valid arguments on both sides but ultimately it is for the Courts to apply the law as defined by Parliament. If change is needed then it is for Parliamnent to change the law.
    Last edited by Yorkshireman99; 18-03-2017 at 10:03 PM.
    • Malthusian
    • By Malthusian 19th Mar 17, 2:40 AM
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    Malthusian
    Like Yorkshireman I think there are valid arguments on both sides. Part of me thinks that if the law of the land says that she is entitled to £50k from her mother's estate, then she doesn't need means tested benefits until she has spent the £50k, simple as that. And that enriching the claimant at the expense of the taxpayer is exactly the kind of thing that gets the masses annoyed with judges and puts them on the front page of the Daily Mail under headlines like "Enemies of the People".

    And part of me thinks this is just what anyone would do who wanted to leave a legacy to a relative who was incapable of working and on means tested benefits, if they understood how the system worked. Judges are supposed to understand how the system works so they're practically duty bound to do it this way.

    One point of order I will make. YM says "If the Court just awarded the whole amount then the claimant would effectively receive nothing because it would be offset by a loss of benefits." This is not true. Benefits won't give the claimant £50k all in one go. £50k is enough to buy a car, move to a new city, even start a business, and generally obliterate whatever reason the Ilotts have for being permanently unemployed. But, like I said, it is what it is and this is not the right MSE forum to question their life choices.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 19th Mar 17, 6:56 AM
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    getmore4less
    The other point to note is one reason the initial claim succeeded was that the benefits were not sufficient to provide.
    The £50k was based on a small top up maintenance amount capitalized.
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 19th Mar 17, 9:09 AM
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    Yorkshireman99
    Like Yorkshireman I think there are valid arguments on both sides. Part of me thinks that if the law of the land says that she is entitled to £50k from her mother's estate, then she doesn't need means tested benefits until she has spent the £50k, simple as that. And that enriching the claimant at the expense of the taxpayer is exactly the kind of thing that gets the masses annoyed with judges and puts them on the front page of the Daily Mail under headlines like "Enemies of the People".

    And part of me thinks this is just what anyone would do who wanted to leave a legacy to a relative who was incapable of working and on means tested benefits, if they understood how the system worked. Judges are supposed to understand how the system works so they're practically duty bound to do it this way.

    One point of order I will make. YM says "If the Court just awarded the whole amount then the claimant would effectively receive nothing because it would be offset by a loss of benefits." This is not true. Benefits won't give the claimant £50k all in one go. £50k is enough to buy a car, move to a new city, even start a business, and generally obliterate whatever reason the Ilotts have for being permanently unemployed. But, like I said, it is what it is and this is not the right MSE forum to question their life choices.
    Originally posted by Malthusian
    On your last point I disagree because the Court had far more information on which to make a judgement that we do. Nor do we have much information to judge what circumstances are the cause of the Ilott's long term unemployent so to suggest they may be at fault without that information is unfair. I don't believe the Courts are a pushover in calculating what a fair amount, and how it should be structured so I am content to accept their decision. In fact £50,000, structured over a period of time in the absence of any MTB is not going to last for long even if it is spent wisely. The family would certainly not be well off by any means.
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 19th Mar 17, 12:53 PM
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    Yorkshireman99
    I have not been taking sides on this and have made that very clear several times. I believe the decision made by the Supreme Court was legally correct and as such that is an end to it. If Parliament wish to change the law then they have that opportunity and you, along with anyone else, can lobby them to do so or to maintain the status quo. Sadly life in general is not necessarily fair and it is also imperfect.
    Last edited by Yorkshireman99; 20-03-2017 at 9:15 AM.
    • Malthusian
    • By Malthusian 20th Mar 17, 2:51 PM
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    Malthusian
    On your last point I disagree because the Court had far more information on which to make a judgement that we do. Nor do we have much information to judge what circumstances are the cause of the Ilott's long term unemployent so to suggest they may be at fault without that information is unfair.
    Originally posted by Yorkshireman99
    Of course it's possible that both of them have some sort of long-term disability that makes them incapable of any kind of work for life. (Except for the husband to occasionally make his way to a film set and stand around in the background.) It is however extremely unlikely. But as you say, we don't know.

    I don't believe the Courts are a pushover in calculating what a fair amount, and how it should be structured so I am content to accept their decision. In fact £50,000, structured over a period of time in the absence of any MTB is not going to last for long even if it is spent wisely. The family would certainly not be well off by any means.
    Indeed. That just makes it seem rather pointless to deny however many fluffy kittens could have been provided with a warm safe home if it had been left to the animal charities as Mrs Jackson wanted.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 20th Mar 17, 4:26 PM
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    Pollycat
    Nor do we have much information to judge what circumstances are the cause of the Ilott's long term unemployent so to suggest they may be at fault without that information is unfair.
    Originally posted by Yorkshireman99
    I believe the judgement said that Mrs Ilott chose to stay at home after the birth of her first child, the District Judge found that 'perfectly understandable'.
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 21st Mar 17, 7:53 AM
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    unholyangel
    Of course it's possible that both of them have some sort of long-term disability that makes them incapable of any kind of work for life. (Except for the husband to occasionally make his way to a film set and stand around in the background.) It is however extremely unlikely. But as you say, we don't know.



    Indeed. That just makes it seem rather pointless to deny however many fluffy kittens could have been provided with a warm safe home if it had been left to the animal charities as Mrs Jackson wanted.
    Originally posted by Malthusian
    http://www.wilsonslaw.com/uploads/news/Ilott_versus_mitson.pdf

    That page gives a little insight as to why DJ Million found that reasonable provision had not been made. It includes a statement that neither the applicant or any beneficiary had any disability. Interesting to note that DJ Million had also allowed the charities their trial costs from the £50,000 awarded.

    As for why she didn't work. I believe it was said in one of the previous hearings that she had elected to stay home to take care of the children and later, her home.

    The husbands circumstances were never detailed beyond earning capacity I believe - but then I wouldn't expect them to be given he isn't the one with a claim to the estate.
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 21st Mar 17, 10:03 AM
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    Yorkshireman99
    http://www.wilsonslaw.com/uploads/news/Ilott_versus_mitson.pdf

    That page gives a little insight as to why DJ Million found that reasonable provision had not been made. It includes a statement that neither the applicant or any beneficiary had any disability. Interesting to note that DJ Million had also allowed the charities their trial costs from the £50,000 awarded.

    As for why she didn't work. I believe it was said in one of the previous hearings that she had elected to stay home to take care of the children and later, her home.

    The husbands circumstances were never detailed beyond earning capacity I believe - but then I wouldn't expect them to be given he isn't the one with a claim to the estate.
    Originally posted by unholyangel
    Sadly the quoted passage does not help much as it has been superceded by the Supreme Court judgement. The Suprme Court judgement suggest to me is that the whole question is not clear cut and each case needs to be decided on the individual facts. Also the Ilott case really was quite exceptional and I would suggest that the decision does not have the universal application that soem were hoping for. The Supreme Court judgement emphasised that the Law Commission need to revisit the law on this topic. Given a very crowded Parliamentary timetable because of Brexit even if the the LC did suggest changes they are not going to become law for years if at all.
    • Marktheshark
    • By Marktheshark 21st Mar 17, 10:08 AM
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    Marktheshark
    Charities do aggressively badger elderly making donations to change their wills and send out hard sell pressure canvassers to pressure elderly people.

    Personally this practice should be banned by law.
    Brexit will become whatever they invent it to be.
    • securityguy
    • By securityguy 21st Mar 17, 10:12 AM
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    securityguy
    Charities do aggressively badger elderly making donations to change their wills and send out hard sell pressure canvassers to pressure elderly people..
    Originally posted by Marktheshark
    There isn't the slightest suggestion of this in the Illot case.
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 21st Mar 17, 1:30 PM
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    unholyangel
    Sadly the quoted passage does not help much as it has been superceded by the Supreme Court judgement. The Suprme Court judgement suggest to me is that the whole question is not clear cut and each case needs to be decided on the individual facts. Also the Ilott case really was quite exceptional and I would suggest that the decision does not have the universal application that soem were hoping for. The Supreme Court judgement emphasised that the Law Commission need to revisit the law on this topic. Given a very crowded Parliamentary timetable because of Brexit even if the the LC did suggest changes they are not going to become law for years if at all.
    Originally posted by Yorkshireman99
    What quoted passage? The ones quoting DJ Million in the original case Ilott v Mitson? While the supreme court judgement is obviously prevailing, the judgement itself basically restored the original judgement of DJ Million as the supreme court judgement was that he did not err in his application of the law. So I would hardly say it doesn't help much.
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 21st Mar 17, 4:50 PM
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    Yorkshireman99
    What quoted passage? The ones quoting DJ Million in the original case Ilott v Mitson? While the supreme court judgement is obviously prevailing, the judgement itself basically restored the original judgement of DJ Million as the supreme court judgement was that he did not err in his application of the law. So I would hardly say it doesn't help much.
    Originally posted by unholyangel
    You gave a link which is in effect a quote. My point was that the Supreme court judgement is the one that sets the precendent albeit confirmed the previous ruling. As I have said repeatedly the SC judgement is the cruicial thing. It really gets knowhere trying to pick that judgement to bits.
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