This story caught my eye this week as it has been reported that the multi-millionaire hairstylist Vidal Sassoon has cut out his adopted son David out of any inheritance of his vast fortune.
Sassoon died in May last year following a battle with leukaemia, aged 84. His estate is thought to be worth around £100 million worldwide, and his estate in England was valued at around £5.2 million. He had made a Will dealing with his English assets two months before his death. The Will expressly disinherits his son David, who was adopted by Sassoon in 1975, when he was just aged three.
The Will reportedly states: ‘My son David Sassoon and his issue are hereby disinherited and shall take nothing under this Will, and for the purposes of the Will, shall be deemed to have predeceased me, leaving no surviving issue.’
Sassoon had revealed some details of his difficult relationship with David in his 2010 autobiography, and had detailed how David had had a troubled childhood. They had spent a long amount of time not speaking and it would appear that Sassoon felt the need to cut him out of his Will.
It is not clear yet whether David intends to challenge his father’s Will, or bring a claim against the estate, but generally a person is entitled to leave their estate to who they choose, so long as they have the mental capacity needed to make the Will, and are making it free from any undue influence. There is also the possibly for some relatives, or anyone dependant on the deceased, to bring a claim against the estate if they are not provided for.
By Inheritance disputes solicitor, Heather Korwin-Szymanowska