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Maradona death highlights inheritance issues

The football world was shocked at the death of iconic footballer  Diego Maradona recently. Known as the greatest footballer in history, Maradona’s death has also highlighted inheritance issues.

Because he did not leave instructions on how his assets were to be divided, Maradona has opened the way for a bitter and complex inheritance dispute.

He left assets, including houses and cars worth £150m, plus £75,000 in cash. But he had reportedly said that he wanted to give is fortune away instead of leaving it to his family.

Whatever Maradona’s intentions, under Argentine law, you can only give away one fifth of your assets, while at least two thirds must be left to the spouse or children. As he’s apparently got children to various women, there’s likely to be several paternity claims.

Although most of us will never have an estate anywhere near the value of that left by Maradona, there are important lessons to be learned.

Katy Burgin, specialist wills and probate solicitor at Atherton Godfrey, commented: “Many people think they are too young to make a will or have nothing of value.

“As soon as you own any assets, even a savings account, you should think about making a will if you have any preference as to where your belongings will go. Contrary to what many believe, almost anything you leave must be transferred to a new owner under some sort of legal process.”

There are huge benefits to having a will, but the risks of not having a will are even bigger. Unfortunately, this message is not getting through to the millions of adults who still do not have a will.

Only 16 percent of will holders are in the 18 to 34 age group – yet these are likely to be parents of young children.

Katy added: “Areas where we commonly see issues are with unmarried couples and where there are children from previous relationships. Unless there are specific provisions made for co-habitees and step-children, they are unlikely to inherit anything, regardless of the strength of the relationship between them.”

A will is the last chance a person has to take care of their loved ones and choose what happens to their belongings – whether it is something of sentimental value or something of high value.

If you would like to speak to our wills and probate experts about either drafting a new will or updating an existing one, please call 01302 320621 or email info@athertongodfrey.co.uk

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