Caroline sadly died on the 15th of February 2020 after being the centre of a media storm. Caroline’s death led mental health campaigners to promote awareness of mental illnesses and encouraged society to #bekind but what you might not know is that Caroline Flack did not leave a Will when she died.
It is reported that, after payments of debts and taxes, her estate was worth just over £827,000. So, what happened to her estate without a Will?
When a deceased does not leave a valid Will, the Rules of Intestacy govern who is legally entitled to the wealth you leave. In Caroline’s case, this was her parents equally. This raises the question, is this what she would have wanted?
The sad answer to that question is that we will never know.
As mentioned, the Rules of Intestacy are there to establish who is entitled to any assets left behind but crucially, they are also there to help loved ones determine who is legally responsible to administer an estate without a Will.
In Caroline’s case, her parents would have been legally responsible to perform those duties.
The Rules of Intestacy do not discriminate; meaning that it may not necessarily always be the most appropriate person or people to carry out such an onerous task. The responsibility may also fall to someone you would not have chosen.
For instance, if you have minor children and they become entitled to your estate, via the Rules of Intestacy, the surviving parent with parental responsibility is obliged to administer the estate. The law does not consider whether you were romantically involved with the surviving parent at the time of your death. There may also be children from different relationships and all surviving parents must then work together to finalise your affairs.
So whilst we must remember Caroline’s #bekind legacy, we must also consider making a Will to protect our loved ones.
If you have any questions about our blog post please feel free to get in touch.