CORONAVIRUS:   Lawson-West Solicitors is ‘Open for Business’ and here to help you with your legal needs.

Find out more

Mother Disinherits Daughter in Favour of Animal Charities

Mother Disinherits Daughter in Favour of Animal Charities

There has been a story is the press recently about a daughter who was written out of her mother's Will. The older lady passed away in 2004 and had been estranged from her daughter since 1978 when they fell out over the daughter’s choice of boyfriend.

When the Will was originally read out, it was revealed that the daughter had been totally disinherited and the majority of the £486,000 estate was left to three animal charities. The daughter contested this decision because she felt this had been done 'out of spite' due to the fact her mother had never previously shown any particular affections towards animals.

After challenging the Will she was awarded the sum of £50,000 in 2007. In 2011, the case was taken to the Court of Appeal who ruled that she was eligible to more of the estate, and she was then awarded a further £163,000.

However, the case took another turn when the animal charities approached the Supreme Court to ensure that there was still going to be a donation left available to them as they had witnessed their gift depreciating. This lead to seven Judges overturning the ruling made by the Court of Appeal and the original order was restored to confirm that the daughter may only receive £50,000.

The mother had written a letter to accompany her Will as she anticipated that her daughter would contest her wishes, within the letter she expressed she did not want her daughters protestations to be considered.

The grounds on which you may contest a Will include:

  • not believing the testator had capacity when making their Will
  • the Will not having been validly executed
  • a third party influencing the testator
  • the Will being forged or fraudulent
  • any clerical errors or the testators wishes have been misinterpreted.

You may also contest a will if you have not been left ‘reasonable provision’- this can include if you have been left a gift but you do not feel it is enough rather than having been cut out of the Will.

If you have any concerns about writing a Will or the validity of an existing Will please contact a member of our expert Wills and Probate team on 01858 445 480.

View all