Heather Ilott Case heads to Supreme Court after charities lodge appeal

The case of a woman who contested her late mother’s will after she was left nothing is to be heard in the Supreme Court after the three animal charities who originally received the whole estate decided to appeal.

The charities: The Blue Cross Animal Welfare Charity, the RSPB and the RSPCA are looking to overturn the decision which saw Heather Ilott awarded £163,000, enough to buy her own council house.

Ms Ilott received around a third of her mother, Melita Jackson’s £486,000 estate after successfully arguing that the “reasonable financial provision” that must be made for children under the 1975 Inheritance Act should apply to adult children also.

Ms Ilott had been raised solely by her mother after her father died in an accident three months after she was born but had been estranged from her mother for 26 years, having walked out of the family home to move in with her now husband and father of her five children, Nicholas Ilott.

The Court of Appeal had previously ruled that the late Ms Jackson had behaved in an “unreasonable, capricious and harsh way towards her only child”.

James Aspden from law firm Wilsons, who is bringing the charities’ case, said: “Win or lose, we expect to have a much clearer and better answer to when the court will use its power,” he said. “This is about trying to get some certainty on when the court can use its powers to intervene in this way.”

A date for the appeal to be heard has yet to be set.

Today's Wills and Probate