Wilsons secures landmark Supreme Court ruling

17 March 2017

Wilsons acted for the successful charities in Ilott v Blue Cross & ors, the first time the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 has been considered at the highest level.

In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court granted the charities’ appeal and took the opportunity to give clear confirmation that, in England and Wales, we are in general free to choose who will inherit our property when we die.  The Inheritance Act empowers the court to make provision from someone’s estate for their family and dependants, but only in limited circumstances.

The Supreme Court’s decision represents the leading authority on needs-based claims under the Inheritance Act.  The ruling clears up a number of uncertainties and misunderstandings about the Act and gives guidance designed to help us to know where we stand when dealing with Inheritance Act claims.

The attached note sets out our summary of what the Supreme Court’s ruling means, based on our close involvement on behalf of the successful charities.  

Ilott v Bluecross Factsheet

Wilsons worked with Penelope Reed QC and Hugh Cumber, both of 5 Stone Buildings, to secure this important ruling.

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