Where there is a Will, there is a way!

With the recent sad news of the pop star Prince passing away, one headline stood out amongst the many tributes from fellow entertainers and fans – that fact that he died without leaving a Will.

According to reports, his sister, Tyka Nelson, has petitioned for a special administrator to oversee his estate – estimated to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars which will continue to rise with posthumous sales and downloads.

Like so many people who don’t leave instructions, the reason is probably very simple – Prince didn’t plan to die so young at only 57 years old!

With no surviving spouse, no children and no living parents, the only surviving close relatives are his full sister Tyka, three half-brothers and two half-sisters.

When a person dies without a Will things can get very complicated, the probate court will appoint a person to administer the estate, their job is to distribute the estate under the laws of intestacy. This can be both time consuming and expensive.

In England and Wales, under these laws, if you die intestate, are not married or in a civil partnership your partner is not legally entitled to anything when you die and if you have no children, your estate will pass in reverse, to your parents.

You might also think that if you are married or in a civil partnership, you don’t need to make a will because everything will naturally pass to your partner. However, in reality, if you die without one, your husband or wife will only be entitled to the first £250,000 of your estate.

Basically, NO Will means NO control. Your estate will always be distributed following the laws of intestacy not your own wishes or the wishes of your family.

 

Karen Barrett, Chief Executive of unbiased.co.uk, commented: “What is evident from research are people’s good intentions to ensure loved ones are taken care of when they are no longer around.  However, it is worrying to see how few have a Will in place, leaving no guarantee their wishes will be executed as they intended and potentially putting them and their family in a vulnerable position.”

The percentage of UK adults without a will from 2013-2015

Age 2013 2014 2015
20 – 29 83% 84% 87%
30 – 39 80% 78% 76%
40 – 49 69% 68% 65%
50 – 59 54% 54% 59%
60 – 69 27% 27% 31%
70 + 19% 15% 18%
  • Source: Unbiased

A Will can also help to reduce the amount of Inheritance Tax that may be payable on your estate.

You can find out exactly who will inherit your estate if you die without writing a Will by visiting the GOV.UK website and using the on-line calculator.

Writing a Will should be an essential part of your overall financial planning arrangements to make sure your partner, children and family are protected and get what you want them to have.

Don’t delay! To discuss, or review, your current financial plans call 01244 347583 to arrange a free, initial consultation – we are available at times to suit you.

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The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) is an agency for arbitrating of unresolved complaints
between regulated firms and their clients. Further details of the FOS can be found on its website:
www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk