Intestacy causes delays for grieving actress


Actress Natasha McElhone is suffering financial delays following the sudden death of her husband 4 months ago. This comes at a time when she is coping with bereavement and is pregnant with the couples’ 3rd child.

Her husband Martin Kelly, 43, a plastic surgeon died from a heart condition in May. Mr Kelly was co-founder of the Facing The World charity, which helps children in the poorest countries have access to face surgery.

Mr Kelly had not considered Inheritance planning a priority and had not made a Will. As a result, Miss McElhone, 36, who appeared in Ladies in Lavender and the television series Californication is not only devastated by her loss but now struggling with the lengthy legal process involved in the intestacy.

When someone makes a Will they control where their money will go and who will be the executors dealing with all the paperwork to administer the estate. This makes obtaining probate much quicker and distributing the assets to the beneficiaries is much more straightforward.

Where there is no Will the intestacy rules apply – the spouse does not received everything, only the first £125,000. This is due to increase to £250,000 next February. The spouse then gets the income from half the remaining estate and the children get the other half immediately.

With 2 young sons and another child on the way this causes many legal complications for Miss McElhone and the estate could take months or even years before it is finalized.

This salutary tale further emphasizes that you are never too young to make a Will.

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