... to leave your money and possessions to those you choose. Without one, there is a clearly defined law that sets out who gets what, but this may not necessarily be what you want or what you would expect.
As with these famous people who died without making a will, it is possible that your whole life's work could go to someone outside your family/ loved ones.
Making a will is not just for the wealthy. A will is for anyone who wishes to pass on their possessions and provides peace of mind for those left behind as well as those making the will. A will may also set out funeral arrangements and contain details of guardianship for children and other dependents.
It is not difficult to make a will and simple wills are inexpensive. Whilst there are some online and DIY will services available, will writing is a specialist area and so it is recommended that you involve the help of a STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners) qualified solicitor. If cost is a worry, register for Free Wills Month in October 2016, when everyone registered can have a new will written or an existing one reviewed for free.
Dying intestate, or without a valid will can cause serious problems for those left behind. When Jimi Hendrix died without a will in 1970, his father Al inherited everything. When Al died in 2002, he left Jimi's £51m estate to his adopted daughter, prompting a lawsuit by his biological son. The families of the following celebrities, who each died intestate, have had their fair share of complications brought about by the lack of a last will and testament.