Three animal charities have gone to the Supreme Court to fight a ruling awarding £163,000 to an estranged daughter who had been disinherited by her mother.
Melita Jackson died in 2004 and left her £486,000 estate to Blue Cross, The RSPCA and the RSPB.
Her estranged daughter, Heather Ilott, who left home at the age of 17, went to court to challenge her exclusion from the will on the grounds of “seeking reasonable financial provision” for herself as a mother of five.
Originally Mrs Ilott was awarded £50,000 from the estate, but last year this sum was increased to £163,000 according to The Daily Telegraph – more than a third of the value of Mrs Jackson’s estate.
International wills and probate lawyer, John Fawcett, said: “The Court of Appeal’s decision to award Mrs Ilott money from Mrs Jackson’s estate has resulted in making it more difficult for parents to disinherit their adult children.
“This could affect how many people choose to contest a will, especially those who have not been mentioned in their parent’s will.
“If you are planning on leaving your estate to charity in your will I would recommend explaining the reasoning behind your decision to your children in order to make it easier for them to understand and accept your wishes.”
The case continues in the Supreme Court.