Can Wills be Challenged by the Disinherited?

If you leave your entire estate to charities, disinherited relatives can successfully mount a challenge to break your last will and testament. Surely not?

In a 2015 case heard by the Court of Appeal, a disinherited daughter challenged her deceased mother’s Will.

The background to the case is really interesting. The daughter had not been in touch with her mother since she left home at age 17, some 26 years prior to her mother’s death. The mother had made no provision for her daughter in her Will and left the majority of her estate to animal charities.

Aggrieved, the daughter brought a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975. After several court appearances and appeals, the Court of Appeal has ruled that the daughter is entitled to share in approximately a third of her mother’s estate in circumstances where the daughter’s financial circumstances were somewhat straitened.

The charities that stand to lose out in this process are making a further appeal to the Supreme Court so watch this space.

The lesson? Courts have the power to over-rule the testamentary wishes of a deceased person if it feels that the needs of relatives prevail over and above the needs of non-related beneficiaries.  Despite this, testators can take measures during their lifetimes to limit the possibility of a successful challenge.  How?  All is revealed in ‘The Absolute Essence of Inheritance Tax Planning’ to be released on Amazon towards the end of this month!

Where you are going wrong with inheritance tax planning –