Rik Mayall was a beloved British comedian and when he died suddenly in 2014 his family, and his fans, were left shocked.
Sadly, almost a year later his family are facing potentially huge death duties on his £1.2m estate…..because he failed to leave a valid will.
Rules around intestacy, which is when someone dies without a will, changed in October 2014.
The following scenarios set out how the assets of someone who dies intestate are now distributed. Married, no children, and you die without a will Everything goes to the spouse or civil partner
Married, with children, and you die without a will Assets up to £250,000 go to the spouse or civil partner. Assets above that limit are split 50/50 between the spouse and the children. On their death this share passes to the children.
Unmarried, living with someone, with or without children, and you die without a will The cohabitee receives nothing. Where there are children and/or grandchildren, they get everything. Where there are no children, the deceased’s assets go to their siblings and parents. Where there are no children or other dependants, and no parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins, nephews, nieces or aunts and uncles, the whole estate goes to the Crown.
We can provide clear advice on all of the above and of course our message is clear – everyone should make a will!
I can’t emphasis enough to people that it is really simple and easy for me to provide a will for you and even a simple basic will is better than no will at all.
Most people do not understand or are even aware of the laws of intestacy and when I meet married couples with no will they seem to believe that their spouse will inherit everything even without a will – this is not true.