In what for many reasons may be a year to forget it can still teach us one valid lesson. It is never too soon to make your Will.
Ask Prince, a man of 57 years who passed in April with an estimated worth of €300 million, yet never took the time to settle his affairs. Given that he has no known children his wider family including half brothers and sisters have filed court proceedings for their share wherein they will have to prove their entitlement by DNA testing. This will surely lead to an almighty carve up of the estate and growing legal costs much to their attorney’s delight.
The death of the legendary musician David Bowie at 69 years set he tone for the year when he died suddenly after concealing his illness.
The murder of MP Jo Cox at 41 in June created shock waves throughout the world as she left behind a grieving husband and 2 young children. We can only hope that a Will had been made to prevent the distribution of her estate in accordance with the laws of intestacy and to ensure that her estate is not unnecessarily distributed to her children as minors.
Perhaps the lesser known singer and television personality Pete Burns pales in comparison of notoriety however proves that with a cardiac arrest in October at 57 years we should never be complacent about the risks that lie ahead of us.
Lest we forget the popular Caroline Aherne (Mrs Merton) who died in July at the age of 51.
The year saw the last of the much loved Terry Wogan, Paul Daniels or Frank Kelly (Fr Jack from Fr Ted) along with the world famous Arnold Palmer, Mohammed Ali and Fidel Castro.
Ultimately December was the month to compound matters by the sudden loss of the troubled pairing of singer George Michael aged 53 and Carrie Fisher (Princess Leah from Star Wars) aged 60. It is not yet known if they had made a Will or if their fate lies with that of Prince. Like Jimmi Hendrix, Bob Marley, Kurt Cobain or Amy Winehouse before him he was not alone in failing to make a Will.
In our own normal lives we may not have the vast wealth that these stars have accumulated however the importance of a properly worded Will is crucial to ensure that our dependents and loved ones are provided for without the threat of legal challenge in Court.
Please contact us if you would like to make your Will or discuss the implications of the Rules of Intestacy. Be assured that as qualified Trusts and Estates Practitioners we are expertly qualified to protect you from many pitfalls including Inheritance Tax , Nursing Home Care Costs or claims from estranged daughters or sons in law.
You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org