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Ilott v The Blue Cross (2017): Testing the Limits of Testamentary Freedom

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Sloan, BD 


WHILE THE DEFAULT position is that ‘an Englishman still remains at liberty at his death to dispose of his own property in whatever way he pleases’, 1 the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 allows certain categories of claimant, including adult children, to seek discretionary provision from an estate in a manner that overrides a will and/or the intestacy rules. This chapter considers a case ultimately called Ilott v The Blue Cross, 2 the first case under the 1975 Act to reach the highest judicial level. The case involved an estranged but needy daughter who had been ‘disinherited’ by her mother in favour of various animal charities. As Lady Hale was eventually to put it, the case raised 'some profound questions about the nature of family obligations, the relationship between family obligations and the state, and the relationship between the freedom of property owners to dispose of their property as they see fi t and their duty to fulfil their family obligations.' 3



Ilott v The Blue Cross (2017): Testing the Limits of Testamentary Freedom


Is Part Of

Landmark Cases in Succession Law

Book type


Hart Publishing




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