The press have recently reported that Jimmy Savile’s Estate is facing an Inheritance claim from a lady they are referring to as his “secret love child”. Savile died in October 2011 leaving most of his estate, worth around £7.8 million, to charity.
Georgina Ray, 40, claims that her mother had a brief relationship with Mr Savile in the 1970s and that she is the DJ/TV presenter’s daughter. She has undergone a DNA test, the result of which will confirm whether she is eligible to make a claim against Mr Savile’s Estate.
The administration of the Estate is reportedly on hold until any potential claim is dealt with.
Charlie Siegle, a Solicitor in the Private Client Team, specialises in will and estate disputes. He comments that:-
“If Mrs Ray is confirmed as Jimmy Savile’s daughter she will be eligible to bring a claim against his Estate under the Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependants) Act 1975 as an adult child. If she is not his daughter it is unlikely she will have any claim at all. As part of her claim she would be arguing that Mr Savile’s last Will fails to make “reasonable financial provision for her” and she would need to make her claim in Court within 6 months of the Grant of Probate for his estate.
One of the keys factors in any claim brought by Mrs Ray will be the state of her finances. If she is able to work and support herself and her family then it will be more difficult for her to argue that she has a financial need which should be paid from Mr Savile’s Estate. If this Estate was of a modest value then there would be less available for all the beneficiaries and Mrs Ray. However the high value should work to her advantage as it means there is more available for the charities and the family to use as part of any out of court settlement. If Mrs Ray does have a viable claim then those parties will be looking to settle matters quickly rather than allowing the Estate to be eroded by legal costs.”
Whatever the value of the Estate in dispute it is important to get proper legal advice at an early stage so you are aware of the legal options. Please contact Charlie at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01803 202027 if you need advice on any issues arising out of the article above.