The news has recently reported that Amy Winehouse died without leaving a Will; moreover focusing on her ex-husband Blake Fielder-Civil not being entitled to a penny of her £3 million estate.
Under the current law of intestacy where a single person without children dies without making a Will, that person’s parents will be entitled to the whole estate. If the parents have predeceased, the estate would then be distributed to the siblings of the deceased person.
Where a person has been married, under the law of intestacy, after a divorce the ex-partner of the deceased person (in this case Blake Fielder-Civil), is deemed to not be entitled to the estate; the law effectively treating Blake as predeceasing Amy Winehouse for inheritance purposes.
Several comments that are coming from the news articles highlight that Amy Winehouse (aged 27) had not made a Will and that it would be common for someone that young to have not made a Will. This is all very likely; however, if Amy Winehouse had still been married to Blake at the date of her death, Blake would have been entitled to part of her estate.
At the end of the day, the only way to ensure that your financial estate/money passes to the people you want to inherit will be by making a Will, even if feel you are too young to do so. The rule of law simply states that to be able to make a Will you will have to have the legal mental capacity to make such a Will and you need to be over eighteen.
Therefore, as solicitors, we always advise that it is best to make a Will, even if you feel that your estate is not substantial, to at least ensure that whatever you do have will pass to the people of your choice.
Thara Thangavel | Solicitor
Private Client Department, Kerseys
(Photo from IVO GARCEV, Flickr)