It has been reported recently in the media, following his sad death in April 2018 that the entire fortune which is estimated to be over £20 million pounds of the famous DJ and music producer Avicii (Tim Bergling) who was aged just 28 at his death will pass entirely to his parents under Swedish intestacy laws.
This is due to Avicii not having a spouse or children of his own and passing away without a Will (despite his extensive fortune) in which he could have nominated chosen beneficiaries. Of course, Avicii was domiciled in Sweden, however, the rules of intestacy there are similar to those in the UK.
At present, in the UK if a person passes away without having created a Will then the estate will follow the intestacy rules, these can be read here.
A Will is an important document at any stage in an adult’s life but particularly once a person owns an asset such as a house, business, other significant assets or if they have a young family.
There is a common misconception that if a person passes away, their partner or cohabitee will inherit their estate, this is not the case unless they are married. If a house is held as joint tenants or the couple hold a joint bank account this will automatically pass by survivorship, however, all other assets in the deceased’s sole name will pass in accordance to the intestacy laws. If the deceased did not have any children of their own when they passed away then any assets in their sole name may pass to their parents or siblings or wider family members, leaving their surviving partner/cohabitee in financial distress.
Within a Will, it is possible to appoint a guardian to care for any children under the age of 18 in the event of the parent’s death. This is very important for those with young families as staying quiet on the issue may lead to conflict within the paternal and maternal families. If the appointment is made then the family can be clear on who should care for the children in the sad event that the parents pass away.
If a person has a business, then within a Will they can appoint trustees to have the power to run the business during the administration period. This can be particularly important to protect any potential financial interest of the beneficiaries, especially if there are other shareholders or directors independent from the deceased and the family.
Wills are very important documents and the above examples are a couple of many reasons why every person should have a Will, if you would like more information on why you should make a Will tailored to your individual needs, please do not hesitate to contact our specialist team on 01616 966 229.