Delaforte v Flood & anr [2021] WTLR 499

WTLR Issue: Summer 2021 #183






The claimant was the granddaughter of the deceased who brought a claim for reasonable financial provision out of the estate under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (1975 Act). The defendants, both children of the deceased, were the executors and beneficiaries under her will. The deceased, who had been diagnosed with vascular dementia, had fallen and broken her hip, resulting in surgery and a spell in hospital. The medical advice was that she could not return home unless care was provided. The claimant, with the agreement of the defendants, moved into the deceased’s home to act as full-time carer and received attendance allowance and top-up funding from the deceased. The deceased died on 27 April 2016, leaving an estate valued at approximately £430,000.

Held (allowing the claim):

As the application was made under s(1)(1)(e) of the 1975 Act by a person who ‘immediately before the death of the deceased was being maintained, either wholly or partly, by the deceased’, it was necessary to have regard to the terms of s1(3) which provided that ‘a person shall be treated as being maintained by the deceased… if the deceased, otherwise than for full valuable consideration, was making a substantial contribution in money or money’s worth towards the reasonable needs of that person’. During the course of the trial it was accepted that the arrangement was not of a commercial nature and eligibility to make a claim was conceded on the basis that the will had failed to make reasonable financial provision for the claimant. The capital sum which should be awarded, not being a reward for meritorious conduct in providing devoted care, was simply reasonable financial provision for maintenance assessed as a lump sum of £110,000. Having regard to the size of the net estate and the differing financial resources of the defendants, the burden of the payment should be borne by them in the ratio of 60 – first defendant, 40 – second defendant.

JUDGMENT HHJ JOHNS QC: [1] Lynsey Tallulah Lena Louise Delaforte (‘Lynsey’) is the granddaughter of Mrs Joan Dorothy Flood who died on 27 April 2016. Lynsey brings this claim for reasonable financial provision out of Mrs Flood’s estate. The defendants are Mrs Flood’s children, being Lynsey’s uncle, Paul Edward Flood, and her mother, Annette Elizabeth …
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Counsel Details

Counsel Sarah Harrison (Parklane Plowden Chambers, 19 Westgate, West Yorkshire LS1 2RD, e-mail appeared on behalf of the claimant.

Simon Hunter (Three Stone, 3 Stone Buildings, Lincoln’s Inn, London WC2A 3XL, tel 020 7242 4937, e-mail appeared on behalf of the first defendant.

Cameron Stocks (Hardwicke, Hardwicke Building, New Square, Lincoln’s Inn, London WC2A 3SB, tel 020 7242 2523, e-mail appeared on behalf of the second defendant.

Cases Referenced

Legislation Referenced

  • Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, ss1, 2 and 3