Is my Will valid?

When preparing a will, it is necessary that it is created with clear and direct instructions. In 2002, Mrs Jackson wrote a will, she intended her wealth to be given to charities, such as BBC Benevolent Fund, RSPCA and Blue Cross. Her estranged daughter who married at the age of 17 was informed by Mrs Jackson, she should not expect any inheritance from her. Mrs Jackson died a couple of years later.

Her last testament was clear with directions, all her estate of £489,000 to be given to the charities of her choice. The assumption being her last testament should be followed, however, the daughter argued the right for a ‘reasonable provision’ contained in the 1975 Inheritance Act. The act allows a child to apply for an order under the will of the deceased, if it does not reasonably provide for them.

The estranged daughter demonstrated that the section 1 (2) of the act provides the case of a child ‘reasonable financial provision’ means ‘such financial provision as it would be reasonable in all the circumstances of the case for the applicant to receive for their maintenance. The judge at the Court of Appeal awarded her the sum of £164,000 to help her buy a housing association home and another £20,000 for her to spend at her own behest.

The QC who was representing the daughter’s interest provided evidence for the family struggling to pay for clothes and limited in the food she can buy. She and her partner were on low incomes and did not have expensive lifestyles. Further evidence demonstrated that Mrs Jackson did not have any involvement with these charities she elected. It was portrayed in court the behaviour was unreasonable.

The Will is the last testament of the person. It seems unreasonable it was not fulfilled. However, after this decision at the Court of Appeal, it demonstrated that the Law is here to be just, if a person’s will can not clearly demonstrate the purpose for disinheritance of the progeny then the Law which aims to be just will be able to support argument of the affected parties. A will can be prepared to stand the test of time subjective to the full and thorough detail is gone into creating one. Barristers can prepare a Will to ensure your last testament is fulfilled.