George Michael’s Will

Making your Will, getting it right and protecting your estate against claims

Recently, a settlement was reached between the Trustees of pop star George Michael’s Will and his former partner, Kenny Goss. George Michael died on Christmas Day in 2016 and his Will left the majority of his multi-million estate to his sisters, his father and his friends. He did not make any provision for his former partner, nor indeed for his current partner at the time of his death.

Inheritance Act

Goss made a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975 initially for a sum of £15,000 a month, claiming George Michael had supported him financially, even though they had split up many years earlier. In the claim he also questioned the state of mind of the singer when he signed his Will in 2013.

The court battle had been ongoing for many months but the Trustees have now agreed a private settlement with Goss, even though the family initially claimed ‘he won’t get a penny’. You can only imagine the costs involved in the litigation which has been necessary to get to this point, let alone the heartache and stress for all parties concerned.

Intestacy Rules

It has also been revealed in papers which were released by the Court that George Michael’s sister, Melanie, who died exactly three years after the singer on Christmas Day 2019, did not leave a Will and died intestate. Her estate passed under the intestacy rules to her 85 year old father, but he has disclaimed his interest and the money will now instead go to her sister. There will no doubt have been tax implications for her father giving his interest away and reinforces the need to ensure you make a Will.

Making a Will

Making a Will is the best protection you can have to ensure your estate passes where you want it to. However, George Michael’s case shows it is not that simple, your Will needs to be made in conjunction with a careful consideration of your circumstances. You need to think about whether anyone could make a claim against your estate, irrespective of how long ago you may have supported them whether financially or otherwise. Careful planning and an agreement to make some provision, however small that may be, could prevent extensive litigation with all the costs and emotional distress this brings.

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