McQueen’s Will Demonstrates Importance Of Estate Planning

Details On Designer's Wishes Revealed

01.08.2011

The Will left by fashion designer Alexander McQueen has demonstrated just why it is important for people to plan for how they would like their estate to be divided following death, an expert at Irwin Mitchell has suggested.

It has been revealed that McQueen, who was 40 when he died last year, left money from his £16 million estate to family, friends and a number of organisations, including his own Sarabande charity, the Terrence Higgins Trust, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home and the London Buddhist Centre.

He also left sums of £50,000 to each of his housekeepers, as well as the same amount to support the care of both of his bull terriers.

According to Chris Walton, a solicitor in Irwin Mitchell’s Will, Trust and Estate Disputes team, said the very specific terms of the Will demonstrate just how important it is to have a clear and concise record of wishes in place.

He explained: “The details which have emerged on this Will have highlighted how Mr McQueen had a clear roadmap in place for the way he wanted his estate to be divided following his death, including which organisations, friends, family and even pets he was determined to ensure would benefit.

“This situation could have proven much more difficult if he had failed to put a Will in place and died intestate. In that scenario, there would have been next to no guarantees that the exact sums stipulated would have been passed on to his desired beneficiaries.

“Such a move could have also forced his loved ones to seek legal advice on a potential estate dispute – a situation which can prove to be emotionally draining for everyone involved.

“We would urge everyone to take steps to follow Mr McQueen’s example on this issue, ensuring they have a Will in place and regularly review it so that it is clear, concise and completely adheres to their wishes.”

Discussing the designer’s decision to leave substantial funds to his two dogs, Chris added that such decisions were not particularly unusual or uncommon.

He outlined: “New research has shown that pets are left an average of £3,500 in their owner’s Wills, with such funds often proving vital to ensure the animals can be cared for when people pass away.

“However, while it is understandable why people do it, we would urge anyone planning on doing this to talk at length with friends and family about their reason behind the decision.

“Otherwise those who feel they are more deserving of such funds may feel it is in their best interests to make a claim and launch a estate dispute over the move.”

If you are involved in a will dispute or need further information about contesting a will, please visit our Will, Trust & Estate Disputes section