When the singer Prince died without leaving a Will, few could have foreseen the extent of the complications and chaos that were to follow.
Three years on from his untimely death in April 2016 at the age of 57, and the wrangles and in-fighting between his beneficiaries and the person appointed by the courts to administer his estate continue.
Not to mention the reported $45 million blown in administrative costs alone, including $10 million said to have been spent on legal fees.
It is not known if or when those named by the courts as beneficiaries, Prince’s six siblings, will receive a penny. In fact, one sister has apparently said she expects the estate, initially valued at between $100 million and $300 million, to end up bankrupt.
It is Prince’s failure to make a Will – known as dying ‘intestate’ – that has led to much of the trouble.
Although a dispute can happen even when someone has made a Will – click here to see what we’ve written on this subject recently – there is no doubt that things tend to be a lot simpler it there is a Will in the first place.
Making a Will is something a lot of us put off for a whole host of reasons – the time, the hassle, the perceived expense or simply just not wanting to think about our own mortality.
In fact, new research shows there are currently 31 million people in the UK who run the risk of dying without a Will, meaning their estate would be distributed solely under intestacy laws with only married and civil partners and some other close relatives allowed to inherit, and not according to their wishes.
Don’t put it off
Here are some key reasons why making a Will is so important:
For help and advice about making or reviewing your Will, please contact Wards Solicitors’ Wills, Probate and Mental Capacity team.
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