Intestacy Concerns Raised As Only Fools Actor Dies Without Will

Legal Experts Urge People To Plan For The Future

17.08.2015

Reports that the family of late Only Fools and Horses star Roger Lloyd Pack could miss out on part of his estate after he failed to leave a will are a clear example of why it is important to plan for the future, according to legal experts.

The Mail on Sunday has revealed that the actor, who played Trigger in the popular sitcom and also starred in The Vicar of Dibley, died intestate when he passed away aged 69 in January 2014.

According to the newspaper, his failure to make a will could cause issues regarding how his estate worth an estimated £1.4 million would be split.

By dying intestate, his estate will pass to his widow and four children, but it is thought that the decision not to make a will could mean a large amount would be owed in inheritance tax.

Earlier this year, similar concerns were raised following reports that the later Bottom and Young Ones star Rik Mayall was also believed to have died intestate.

According to will disputes experts at Irwin Mitchell, the situation demonstrates just why it is vital that people always put plans in place for how they would like their estate to be handled.

Expert Opinion
“Preparing a will is a hugely important step to take, as it is the only way that a person can take steps to ensure that their belongings and assets are managed and handled in the way they would like them to be when they pass away.

“Sadly, our own research has shown that around 60 per cent of Britons do not have a will in place, with 47 per cent also not knowing how their estate would be distributed when they pass away. It is therefore clear that there remains much to be done to ensure people recognise the importance of taking this step.

“We have seen numerous cases in which families have been ripped apart after becoming embroiled in long-running, costly and emotionally draining legal battles in relation to estates. Putting clear instructions in place can go some way to avoid this.

“However, it is about more than just outlining your wishes as like, this case shows, splitting your estate in a specific manner can also ensure that loved ones benefit from paying a lower rate of inheritance tax.

“Considering the reported size of the estate in this case, it would appear the inheritance tax issue will come into play – as some family members are likely to face a high rate on their share of the estate.

“All in all, the only way to ensure that your assets are divided in the manner you wish which benefits all parties is to put a valid will in place.”
Paula Myers, Partner