Only Fools and Horses star, Roger Lloyd-Pack, died intestate leaving an estate worth £1.4 million, highlighting the problems that can arise from not creating a will.
The issue of not having a valid will is a common occurrence within the wills and probate industry. The recent high profile example of Roger Lloyd-Pack passing away intestate has highlighted an already prominent issue for the population. Indeed, current statistics show that two thirds of those in the UK die intestate.
Although intestacy rules exist in order to protect individuals who die without a will, they can only cover a limited number of situations. A consequence of this is that without a will, a share of the estate could then be passed on to the individual’s children, potentially triggering much greater inheritance tax (IHT) repercussions.
[alertinfo]During September you can make a Will at participating solicitors and help support The Forever friends Appeal. Find out more about RUH Will Month here[/alertinfo]
In the case of Lloyd-Pack, the impact of not creating a will has meant that the distribution of his estate has been governed by the stricter intestacy rules. Consequently, his estate will be subject to more tax, coupled with the fact that he was unable to have a direct say on how his possessions would allocated subsequent to his death.
High profile cases such as this are not uncommon. Rik Mayall is another example of a British actor who has passed away recently without possessing a valid will, meaning that his preference could not be established over the next steps of his high-value estate.
The low percentage of the population currently possessing a will arguably demonstrates a need for improved financial and tax education in order to increase awareness surrounding the importance of the legal document. Many solicitor firms already market wills to their clients, however some have argued that more should be done on a national level to ensure people retain as much control over their estate as possible after they pass away.