The Court of Appeal has declined a claim made by a granddaughter for a share of her deceased grandfather’s estate. The grandchild brought the claim after she was left nothing under her grandfather’s will.

The granddaughter claimed that she and her grandfather had a good relationship until her mother claimed that the grandfather was abusive. The granddaughter promptly ceased contact with the grandfather.

The granddaughter claimed that subsequent to her mother’s allegations, she had attempted to contact her grandfather several times, but these attempts were rebuffed by the grandfather. However the evidence showed that the granddaughter had only visited her grandfather once in 30 years.

The Court decided that the granddaughter and her grandfather had been estranged for 30 years, and that the granddaughter was responsible for this estrangement, which was longstanding and complete.

The Court also considered the fact that the granddaughter’s mother was well provided for in the Will and decided that it was up to the mother to provide for her is she so wished.

This led to the Court deciding that in the circumstances the grandfather was under no legal obligation to provide for his granddaughter, and that his decision to leave the granddaughter out of his Will was justified as a result of the estrangement.

Accordingly the granddaughter was unsuccessful in challenging her grandfather’s Will on the grounds that he had breached his moral duty to her, receiving nothing from his estate.

When putting a Will in place it is wise to seek advice early on from a professional with experience in the area to avoid a successful challenge against the estate later on.

Leading law firms committed to helping clients cost-effectively will have a range of fixed-price Initial Consultations to suit most people’s needs in quickly learning what their options are.  At Rainey Collins we have an experienced team who can answer your questions and put you on the right track.

Jon Beck & Matt Binnie