The recent death of actor Roger Lloyd-Pack was very sad, particularly for those of us who remember him so fondly as Trigger. Who can forget the wonderful scene where he gets an award for having the same broom for 20 years (with only 17 new heads and 14 new handles during that time). So, Trigger has gone, he has left behind some wonderful memories, an estate of something over £1 million and a family. What he didn't leave behind was a Will. Rick Mayall died suddenly in 2014, and again, wonderful memories, an estate over £1 million, a family, no Will. Why?
As a consequence the estates must be dealt with under the arbitrary rules of intestacy, rules decided by Parliament from time to time, usually based on recommendations of the Law Commission. But, they are arbitrary, they take no account of tax planning, and can be very unfair.
A while back I spoke to a room full of elderly gentlemen, and I asked them to raise their hand if they would be content for the government to decide upon their holiday destination. Not surprisingly, no hands were raised. Why then do so many people fail to make a Will, quite possibly as many as 60% of the population? This is nothing more nor less than letting the government decide where their estate should go. It makes no sense.