Inheritance Tax Case of the Year?

The Supreme Court will hear an already well-known case relating to an inheritance dispute involving major animal charities on December 12.

This ruling is seen by many as a source of encouragement to adult children who have been left out of a will or not provided for to any great extent, to seek to challenge their deceased parent’s decision, whether that decision was set out in a written will or by deciding not to make a will at all and leaving the distribution of their estate to the laws of intestacy.

Understandably, this widely publicised case has led to enhanced knowledge amongst the general public of the possibility of making claims under the Inheritance Act and therefore it is likely that the number of claims will continue to rise as a result.

Ilott (Respondent) v The Blue Cross and others concerns a ruling made by the Court of Appeal in July 2015. The estranged daughter of a woman who had left her entire estate to charity successfully disputed the will and was eventually awarded enough to buy her home. Her claim was made under the Inheritance ( Provision for family and Dependants ) Act 1975.

However, three of the principal beneficiaries of the mother’s original will pursued the case. The Blue Cross, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals argue that the decision to set aside funds for the daughter was wrong and that it also should have not have been awarded in a way that preserved the daughter’s entitlement to benefits.

At the scheduled one-day hearing in December, Justices of the Supreme Court will consider whether or not the Court of Appeal’s approach to the Inheritance Act had been the correct one.

Where you are going wrong with inheritance tax planning –