What Can Happen If You Die Without A WillMay 24, 2016
The news that pop legend Prince died without making a Will has thrust the issue into the headlines, but it’s not just families of the rich and famous who are affected by this problem.
Citizens Advice has reported an alarming rise in enquiries about what to do when someone dies without a will, known as being “intestate”. The figure has more than doubled in just four years, from 1,522 in 2011 to 3,747 last year.
An attorney in Prince’s home state of Minnesota said the twice-divorced star’s multi-million dollar estate is likely to be divided equally among his six siblings and half-siblings. However, he also predicted that court proceedings over the assets will probably go on for years.
Prince had a reputation for closely managing his image, and some commentators expressed surprise that he had not made a Will. Having fiercely protected the use of his name during his lifetime, it is now possible that it will be used to make money in all sorts of ways in which he might not have approved.
Research carried out by British pollsters YouGov reveals that well over half of all adults don’t currently have a Will, although seven out of ten of those aged over 55 do.
Of those without a Will, many said they hadn’t got round to it or felt they were too young while around 20% said they had no assets worth passing on. Well over half (63%) of those with a Will had it drafted by a firm of solicitors, while one in ten did it themselves.
Only one adult in ten said they understand what happens when there is no Will and what the “Rules of Intestacy” are. More than a third (34%) had never heard of them.
Lynda Monks, a solicitor with Macks Solicitors who has more than 30 years’ experience in Wills and Probate, emphasises the importance for everyone to have an up to date Will to meet their individual financial and personal circumstances.
Lynda says: “It is only by having a Will can you ensure your wishes are carried out and avoid your family facing additional stress and complications at a difficult time.”