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Adopted son is cut of his natural father's will

View profile for Leah Woodnott
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It was announced recently that Charlie Gilmour, adopted son of Pink Floyd’s guitarist, David Gilmour,  has been left out of his natural father, Heathcote Williams’, will.

Heathcote Williams, who died last year aged 75, changed his will in 2016 after Charlie got into trouble with the Police by swinging on the Cenotaph and was, in turn, sent to jail. Charlie tried, as part of his defence, to use in mitigation that his behaviour was a consequence of him being rejected by his biological father to try to get a shorter sentence. 

In turn, Heathcote took offence to this and decided to cut Charlie out of his will and made a new will leaving his entire estate of £239,547 to his two daughters equally. 

In England and Wales it is possible for a child who is excluded under their parent’s will to make a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 if they can prove that, as a result, reasonable financial provision has not been made for them.  However, the Act does not provide for an adopted child to pursue a claim against their natural parent’s estate; they can only do so against their adopted parent’s estate.  

In this case it is not known whether Heathcote was still providing financially for Charlie at the time of his death or whether he made any financial promises to Charlie. It is claimed that Heathcote had no involvement with Charlie for some time prior to his death due to the fall out and therefore it is not known what action, if any, Charlie will take after uncovering this news. Unfortunately, he will not be able to make a claim under the Act but he may be able to challenge the validity of the will on other grounds if applicable. 

Birkett Long’s specialist inheritance disputes team can advise you on both bringing and defending claims against a late parent’s estate, if you have not been provided for in a will. If you would like advice regarding this then please do not hesitate to contact me at leah.woodnott@birkettlong.co.uk or 01206 217609.

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