Trainee Blog No.3
Posted by Melissa - April 01 2019
Intestacy and the Importance of Planning for the Future
As I am coming to the end of my third month as a Trainee in the Wills and Probate department, I am noticing more and more the importance of planning for the future.
It is a common misconception in the UK that Wills are not needed until you are elderly. Many reports show that as a nation we have an aversion to writing an up to date Will and would rather avoid this sometimes emotive issue, than prepare for the future.
An example of this scenario is what happened to the well-known Musician, DJ and Record Producer: Avicii , who sadly died on 20 April 2018. The Swedish musician, whose real name was Tim Bergling was born in 1989, making him only 28 years of age at the time of his death.
Despite his young age, Avicii topped the charts in 22 countries worldwide with his song, Wake Me Up. But he was not only known for his music, Avicii was also publicly known for his charitable nature. He publicly donated all of the proceeds from his 2012 tour to “Feeding America” and then year later donated 1€ million to a Swedish Hunger Aid charity. Reportedly he left behind an estate worth £20 million.
However, Avicii passed away without leaving a Will.
Avicii’s circumstances highlight an important lesson in regard to estate planning. His entire estate will pass under the Swedish Intestacy Laws (similar to those in the UK), regardless of his personal wishes. Fortunately, there is currently no inheritance tax payable in Sweden. However, the UK inheritance tax is currently set at 40%. This would mean that any money over the personal nil rate band of £325,000 would be taxed at 40%.
Regardless of age or wealth, it should be a priority to ensure that your assets are protected and to save the effects that intestacy has on family and friends. Making a will allows you to retain control over your own legacy rather than having one determined by the law. By exercising your freedom to make a will, not only are you making your intentions known, but you’re making times easier for those you leave behind, avoiding conflict and easing stress during a deeply traumatic time.
“I can’t tell where the journey will end, but I know where to start” - Avicii