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Amy Winehouse: Back to wills

View profile for Leah Woodnott
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The recent news of Amy Winehouse’s ex-husband trying to make a financial claim against her estate, eight years after her passing, provides a stern reminder about the importance of making a will.

In 2011, Amy Winehouse died without making a will. Section 46 of the Administration of Estates Act 1925 set out the strict order in which her estate would be distributed. This strict order is often referred to as the rules of intestacy.

The rules of intestacy stated that Amy Winehouse’s mother and father would inherit her entire £2.94 million estate.

Eight years after the death of the singer, Amy Winehouse’s ex-husband, Blake Fielder-Civil, is now said to be making a £1 million financial claim on her estate. This is despite the singer giving him a £250k settlement following their divorce in 2009.

Although it is not known whether Blake Fielder-Civil’s claim will be successful, there is a lot of speculation that the claim has been brought out of time and therefore will not be successful. This is because the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 states that there is a strict time limit to bring a financial claim. That time limit has now passed.

Unfortunately, this does not provide Amy Winehouse’s family with a lot of comfort, as they may now have an inheritance battle on their hands which could have been easily prevented.

This case highlights the importance of making a will and clearly setting out who you would like to inherit your estate. By making a will you are ensuring that your wishes are clear for everyone to see. You will also have the guilt-free knowledge that the distribution of your estate should be in order.  

In the event that someone does make a claim against your estate, your will can be used as evidence to support those that you have made provision for. This is because your will clearly shows it was your intention for those individuals to inherit your estate.

If you would like to discuss making a will, to update an existing will, or would like advice on how the rules of intestacy would apply should you pass away, then please contact our will specialists. I am based in our Colchester office and can be contacted on leah.woodnott@birkettlong.co.uk or 01206 217609.

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