Recent news reports have detailed how the late comedian Rik Mayall’s family could be landed with a large inheritance tax bill due to the actor failing to leave a valid Will after his death last June. As a result of his failure to make a Will and plan his affairs appropriately, Rik Mayall’s family will be left with a large inheritance tax bill which could have been substantially avoided.

Mayall’s £1.2m estate will be dealt with by the intestacy rules laid down by Parliament, which outline who should inherit from a deceased person’s Estate when there is no valid Will. Under the rules Rik’s wife is entitled to receive £250,000 in cash plus his belongings, and interest only on any remaining funds in his Estate, leaving the rest to be split between their three children. However, this could be subject to a large amount of inheritance tax, as a result of Mayall not making arrangements for after his death.

Similarly, there were issues with the actor Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Will after his death in February 2014. He didn’t update his Will to include his two young daughters, meaning that only his son would receive an inheritance leaving out his two young daughters who were born after he made his Will. In this case, if Hoffman’s Will had been worded differently, provision could have been made for any future children, ensuring all children were provided for by the Estate.

These cases are just two examples that show why it is extremely important to regularly update your Will, particularly after having children or changing partners.

We advise that you speak to a specialist to ensure your Will is appropriately drafted and makes adequate provisions for the future, so that your family are not burdened with unforeseen problems in the event of your death.

With the correct advice, time, money and stress can be saved. For more information on the wills and probate services at Paul Crowley and Co Solicitors, please called 0151 264 7363 and speak to Natasha Booth.