The King Lear threat: attempting disinheritance

Posted by Alison Craggs on
Even now, at the grand age of 25, I still manage to attract a degree of displeasure from my parents. Whereupon the disapproving look is cast, their following gambit is always the same: my father, doing his best impression of King Lear, jokingly (I hope) threatens to disinherit me, cruelly dismissing his 'sometime daughter' with melodramatic flair.

However, this threat is not quite as devastating as my father would hope: the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975 sees to that.

Section 1 of the Act confers the right on, among others, a child of the deceased to apply for an order if the will of the deceased or the intestacy rules do not make reasonable provision for him/her. Indeed, this recently made front-page news: the Court of Appeal in the high-profile case of Ilott v Mitson ruled in favour of a largely disinherited adult child of the deceased receiving a significant settlement as 'reasonable provision'.

What I tactically fail to disclose to my parents is the fact that they could make provisions in their respective wills to discourage my potential contention of their nefarious testamentary dispositions. It is therefore always advisable to review your will regularly and update it if any circumstances change (apart from my parents, if you both read this: your wills are just fine).

Whether it's your son or daughter of whom you are not so fond anymore, or perhaps a new son-in-law or daughter-in-law has joined the family, we can help ensure your will is still fit for purpose and adheres to your wishes so that you don’t end up front-page news! Please contact us for further information.

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Alison advises clients on the best structure for their Wills and prepares powers of attorney and administers estates. 

Alison Craggs
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