Over half of UK adults don’t have a will. That’s 60% of the population, according to research by Unbiased.
A fairly recent example of someone famous who didn’t leave a will is Aretha Franklin who died leaving a rather large estate with no guidance as to who she wanted to benefit from it.
Were she to have been in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, then her estate would have followed the Intestacy Rules. These are rules set out in legislation and they determine who gets what. In Aretha’s case, as her parents were no longer alive, her estate would be distributed between her siblings. If any had died before her leaving children, then those children would take their parent’s share.
Intestacy can mean that relations that you are not close to will inherit from you and it also means that you are missing out on the opportunity to benefit those who have played a large and meaningful part in your life, such as your best friend, godchildren, charity or church.
Rather than risking who your estate goes to, please take advice and make a will that deals properly with your assets and ensures that what you pass on goes to the people you choose, so that the risks of them losing it are as small as possible.