Prince Andrew, a member of the royal family from the U.K., was left “devastated” after learning that he’s not receiving a penny of his late mother’s inheritance. Queen Elizabeth’s estate, valued at 650 million pounds, is passing directly  into the hands of King Charles. Prince Andrew has bemoaned this state of affairs to his friends, lamenting that he has no money leftover to fund his lifestyle in the manner he is accustomed to.

The Queen passed the money from “monarch” to “monarch” as a “tax efficient” way to transfer her inheritance. A source for the royal family flat out denied any wrongdoing on the part of the royal family: “All of the members of the Royal family have had provisions made for them already.” Additionally, the King has been reportedly taking “cost efficient” measures in an effort to save the Royal Family some funds. This includes stopping payments for Prince Andrew’s annual 249,000 pound allowance, as well as eliminating payments for some of his other expenses. A friend of Andrew’s lamented: “What’s he meant to do? Go cap in hand to his older brother to keep a roof over his head? Things are going from bad to worse. It’s a disaster.” One would think that the Prince would have enough money to survive on his own, given the vast network of resources and connections at his hands.

All of this comes at a time of serious  allegations made against Prince Andrew for sexual assault. That may be why Andrew’s accommodation at Buckingham palace was rescinded. He may even lose access to his current place of residence, Royal Lodge. Living in the Lodge would cost a whopping (annual) 30 million in pounds. Andrew’s other request for an “Indian Healer” (valued at 32,000 pounds) to be paid off, was also rejected by the Royal family. 

It is not only Andrew who is apparently devasted by the news; two of his siblings, Princess Anne, 72, and Prince Edward, 59, are also feeling “resentful” for not inheriting anything. In the U.K., there are many families currently struggling to make ends meet, which is exacerbated due to the rising cost of inflation. Many families have no doubt had to “buckle down” and save as much as possible. Given the vast wealth of resources and connections that these three have at their disposal, can they not do the same? 

Unfortunately, the trio may find very little in the way of sympathy for their “plight” among the U.K. population. You can read more about the inheritance issue, here. 

Have you completed your Last Will yet? If not, what are you waiting for? 

That is the message we have often repeated to our readers: the importance of a Will is necessary to keep your inheritance from going to the wrong people. We have written about the issue of  Intestacy. Intestacy occurs when no Will is left behind and the courts, or the provincial/territorial authorities, or another entity altogether, takes control of one’s estate. This has already happened with Amy Winehouse’s estate, as well as countless others. 

The reasons for not having a Will are usually twofold: 1) Young people feel as though they are too young to have a Will done (and probably feel as though they are lacking in assets), and 2) It’s considered expensive to get a Will done (there is a persistent belief that one needs a lawyer to help draw out a Will). This is how one’s legacy is lost: by not having a Last Will and Testament. 

If people were to dig a little deeper, there are always some type of assets people have: even if comes to things like phones or laptops. Perhaps the clothing you own is worth something? There are always things of value that you can find if you look hard enough, which is why a Will is always necessary. Obviously, the necessity for a Will increases as you get older and have children, but it’s something that people in their 20’s and early 30’s should also think about. You want to keep your legacy going! 

The fact that many younger people have more of a precarious economy to deal with, shouldn’t be the catalyst as to the reason as to why you put your Will off. Everyone should have a Will. You can read more about the reasons as to why people put off a Will here: The Angus-Reid poll on why Canadians don’t have a Will.

Divorces are obviously messy affairs: they involve hurt feelings, anger, and messy financial and legal complications. When you get divorced, that is a good time to re-evaluate your Will and estate plan. You have to consider not only splitting up your assets, but your insurance policies, Power of Attorney, Living Will, retirement and more. 

The very first thing you can do is to reassess and change your Last Will and Testament (that one is obvious). You’re most likely going to want to change up your Last Will  and change who your beneficiaries are. You may want to remove your ex-spouse as your Executor (if you have that person listed as your Executor). If you have step-parents, step-children and the like, you may also want to make the same changes to your Will. 

Divorce can change your estate plan in its entirety. The following other steps should be taken to change up your estate plan: 

  1. Change your Power of Attorney (for the same reasons you would change up your Last Will). 
  2. If you have a Trust, you may want to have it changed. You may want to consider a domestic asset trust. 
  3. Re-evaluate your insurance policies (who is going to be a beneficiary on your life insurance, for instance?) Are you going to have a new beneficiary? 
  4. Splitting up your retirement accounts (this should be obvious). It may be a complicated and tedious process to go through, but one that is necessary, however.

Divorces can be hard to go through, and the legal paperwork to wade through can also be a lot to do deal with: it can be tiring, emotional and wear you down. All of these are necessary tasks to engage in when you are divorced. Your estate plan should be changed, just like how everything else in your life will change after a divorce. You can read more by clicking on the link below: 

Divorcing? Here’s how to update your estate plan.

It sounds tedious and confusing; estate planning can dredge up images of being buried in paperwork. Single adults who feel as though they may not have much in the way of assets *cough* millennials *cough* still have to plan for their estate. If you do not have a spouse or children, you still need to plan, even if you feel if you have little in the way of assets.  

Consider where are you at in life and what assets you DO have. You do not know how life will change and how things will work out later on down the road. When you pass away and you have debt, the debt will be paid off through your assets and your estate (if you live in Alberta).  If you are an adult who is planning to gift your valuables and your income away, you aren’t likely going to know what changes are coming down the road or when you’re going to pass away. Spending everything during your lifetime may not be realistic. Later in life, when people try to ensure something is passed down to their beneficiaries, people try to leave as much as possible. You may not want to spend all of your income and assets for short-term pleasures right away. 

There are also Power of Attorney documents and Living Wills to consider: in the event something happens to you and you wind up in a coma, these documents ensure that your money and health is taken care of. It’s best to get all three documents done. People don’t usually think of getting these documents complete until they reach their their 30’s or 40’s. It is recommended that one should create (or at least think about) starting these documents around their later 20’s. That is around the time when their careers are starting out. Find out more information by clicking on the link below: 

Estate Planning for single adults.