Partner at Hugh James solicitors, Matthew Evans has given
his reaction to the developments regarding Sir Jimmy Saville's
estate. The well known entertainer's estate is currently being
disputed by a woman claiming to be his illegitimate daughter.
Georgina Ray, 40, claims that her mother had a two week affair with
Sir Jimmy in the early 1970s. She is reportedly looking to
bring a claim against his estate, estimated to be worth
Currently, Sir Jimmy Saville's will leaves the majority of
his estate to his two charities; the Jimmy Saville Charitable Trust
and the Jimmy Saville Stoke Mandeville Hospital Trust with some
other smaller gifts for friends and family.
Partner Matthew Evans, at leading Welsh law firm Hugh James,
said 'Despite the fact that Sir Jimmy made a will and that
he may never have met Georgina Ray, if she is his daughter, she is
eligible to bring a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for
Family and Dependants) Act 1975. This act allows certain
family members and people who were dependent upon the deceased to
bring claims for 'reasonable financial provision' against a
person's estate, for instance where that person's will has
not made sufficient provision for them.'
Many people are surprised to learn that a person's last
wishes can be challenged. This is all the more surprising when
the claim is by an adult child who may have been estranged from the
deceased for many years. However, the recent Court of Appeal
case of Ilott v Mitson confirmed the position.
This story draws many comparisons to the Ilott v Mitson case;
that claim was also by an estranged daughter of the deceased who,
like Sir Jimmy, had left the majority of her estate to
charities. The court found in that case that the
deceased's will had failed to make reasonable provision for
Heather Ilott and awarded her approximately 10% of the
Matthew Evans continued 'Whether or not Georgina Ray
pursues her claim remains to be seen. If eligible, Ms Ray
would need to show that she requires an amount which is reasonable
for her maintenance.'
Hugh James regularly acts for individuals looking to bring or
defend claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and
Dependants) Act 1975.
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A well-meaning friend, relative or even a carer of a deceased person may take what they believe are helpful steps to tidy up a deceased’s affairs in the days following their death to pave the way for those who will carry out the administration of the estate.