The Problems of Excluding Beneficiaries in a Will

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As many of you will no doubt already be aware, the news following the recent outcome of the Heather Ilott case has divided opinion. Please follow the link here to read the full article.

Although the particular circumstances of this case are cumulatively unusual, there are elements that most people can identify with.

It is not unusual for parents to have less than ideal relationships with their children. As a result people can and do remove or limit provision for their children in their Wills. Which may be for a number of reasons which may or may not be reasonable. If you decide you would like to remove a child or dependent from your Will, it is best to seek appropriate legal advice. It is important that whatever decision you eventually make, is informed and made in the knowledge of potential risks that this may pose to your estate. Without sounding too Dickensian, defending a claim against an estate can often be a protracted and expensive exercise. The cost of which would generally come from the estate itself.

Although England and Wales does not have forced heir ship under the Family and Dependants Act 1975 children are within a class of people who are eligible to make a claim on their parent’s estate. Whether or not a claim is successful is a matter for the court to ultimately decide.

However, there are things you can do to reduce the risk of a claim being made against your estate and our Private Client team can discuss such issues with you.

If you would like to speak to one of our Private Client team please call 01903 706956 or click on one of their profiles on the Our Team page.


The information contained in this article is for general guidance only and is not intended to be legal advice. Professional advice should always be taken on the application of the law in any particular situation.