What do Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, ‘Sonny’ Bono, Michael Jackson and Prince have in common? Aside from being world famous musicians, the answer is that they all died without making Wills.
Prince Rogers Nelson, better known to music fans as Prince, died on 21st April, 2016, at his Paisley Park home, in Minnesota.
During his lifetime, the musician amassed a huge personal fortune – reportedly worth more than $100 million – yet he died intestate at the age of 57. Media reports have suggested that he had been in poor health for some months and that he may even have known he had a life limiting illness. Whatever the truth surrounding these rumours, one thing is certain; Prince did not make a Will.
His situation is, sadly, not unusual. In this country around two thirds of people do not have a valid Will in place and around one third of us will die intestate.
There are many reasons people cite for not sorting out their Will. Some admit that they do not want to think about their own mortality, but the most common reason given is that it’s on the ‘to do’ list and they will get round to it tomorrow.
Tim Steele, a partner with Palmers and an expert in Wills and Probate said: “If you die without making a Will, then your estate will be distributed in accordance with the rules of intestacy and the results of this may not be what you imagine.
“Your loved ones will be left to sort out your financial affairs, at a time when they are grieving and facing uncertain times. The greater the value of a person’s estate the more complicated things become and although you may not have a fortune the size of Prince’s, making a Will ensures that the things you have worked hard for and hold dear, are distributed according to your wishes.
“It is also important to remember that under current intestacy rules there is no provision for co-habiting couples. It is possible for a surviving partner to claim against the estate but this can be costly and hugely stressful.
“Making a Will doesn’t have to be a painful experience. Many clients who have gone through the process admit it is it far more straightforward than they had imagined.
“Putting your affairs in order provides peace of mind, enabling you to get on with the rest of your life.”
For more information about Palmers’ Wills and Probate services, please contact us.