Ilott vs Mitson – A Timeline

Most of us have heard about the well-publicised and long running matter of Ilott v Mitson in which an estranged daughter made a claim against the estate of her late mother who had disinherited her. The case was heard by the Supreme Court in December 2016 and judgment was given on 15 March 2017. A timeline of the various events is set out below.

The judges in the various courts had to consider a number of factors including the deceased’s wishes, the deceased’s relationship with the charities whom she benefitted, the family and financial circumstances of the Claimant daughter and the most appropriate award taking into account all these factors. The case highlights some issues to consider when disinheriting children or those who might normally benefit under your Will.

Family disputes happen all too frequently. For advice on reducing the risk of claims against your estate, making a claim against an estate or any other Will or Probate matters which concern you, please contact our friendly Private Client Team.


  • Mrs Jackson makes a Will in 2002 in which she makes no provision for Mrs Ilott, Mrs Jackson’s only child; Mrs Ilott and Mrs Jackson having become estranged many years ago.
  • Mrs Jackson dies in 2004 leaving her entire estate (worth £486,000) to three charities (the Blue Cross, the RSPCA and the RSPB)

August 2007 – High Court

  • Mrs Ilott disputes the Will, bringing a claim against the three charities and her mother’s executors (David Mitson and Michael Lane). Mrs Ilott says that her mother did not make reasonable provision for her in the Will.
  • The Court finds that reasonable provision was not made for Mrs Ilott and awards her £50,000, with the rest of the estate going to the charities.

March 2014 – Court of Appeal

  • Mrs Ilott appeals saying that £50,000 is not reasonable provision for her.
  • The Court dismisses the appeal.

July 2015 – Court of Appeal

  • The charities appeal the decision of the Court of Appeal.
  • On 15 March 2017 the Supreme Court allows the appeal and reinstates the original award of £50,000 to Mrs Ilott.

Simon Tilling is a solicitor in the Private Client team at Barker Gotelee, Ipswich Solicitors.

Suffolk Wills Solicitors – for more information on our range of legal services, please call the team on 01473 611211 or email