There have been many newspaper reports following Prince’s death on the 21st of April at his famous home and recording studio in Minneapolis. Currently hitting the headlines is that Prince appears to have died without preparing a Will.
Statistics suggest that one in three people die in the UK without making a Will. Where people have modest estates this is perhaps less surprising. However where people have significant wealth this is incredibility financially irresponsible.
When there is no Will there is no one named to deal with the estate administration. If you prepare a Will then you can choose people, called executors, who you trust to administer your estate. This includes calling in the assets, paying any liabilities and distributing your estate to the people you choose. If there is no Will administrators will act on your behalf. A temporary special administrator, the Bremer Trust, National Association (a bank) has now been appointed in Prince’s estate.
The bank is now on the hunt for his Will, if one exists at all. They will be looking in places where Prince’s Will might have been stored and contacting any solicitors who have done work for the pop star in the past. If you prepare a Will with Quality Solicitors Davisons we will store your Will at our offices free of charge. This will give you peace of mind that your Will is safe and your executors will know where to find it in the event of your demise.
When people die without a Will they die intestate. This means that their estate is distributed in accordance with the intestacy rules. Property goes first or in major part to a spouse, then to children and their descendants. If there are no descendants, the rule sends you back up the family tree to the parents, then the siblings and so on to the more remote degrees of kinship.
The potential heirs of Prince’s estate will now be coming forward. Prince was married and divorced twice, meaning that he died a single man. Six siblings have already been named and it is likely that others will come forward – perhaps asserting to be a child of Prince. If Prince did have any children then under the intestacy rules his siblings will inherit nothing. This may not be what Prince had intended to happen upon his death – if for example he had a child from a one night stand with whom he had no relationship. If a child does come forward and no Will is found then they will stand to inherit his entire multi-million dollar estate.
It is crucial to prepare a Will to ensure that your assets pass to the people you choose, as the intestacy rules may not provide for this. For example in a second marriage scenario where there are children from a first marriage. Under the intestacy rules the deceased’s estate could all be paid to the second wife, leaving the children of the first marriage with nothing.
Please contact Quality Solicitors Davisons if you would like advice and assistance in preparing your Will. It could save your family a lot of heart ache in the event of your demise.