This is not (unfortunately) the title to his unpublished fourth novel. Stieg Larsson, the Swedish author famous for his series of novels including ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’, simply did not make a Will before he died.
Subsequently, the series rose to great acclaim, resulting in large royalties passing into his estate. However, because he did not have a Will, none of this fortune could revert to his long-term partner.
Swedish intestacy laws do not recognise unmarried, cohabiting couples in their provisions for the sharing of the estate so the author’s hard-earned fortune was instead awarded to his estranged family.
The situation is currently similar in the UK, highlighting the importance of making a Will. To do otherwise can be to leave the destination of a life’s fortune to chance. Although the Government is considering amending various laws to extend property rights to unmarried couples or those in civil partnerships, it is not clear whether this will include amending the intestacy rules in this regard.
Therefore, unmarried couples in particular should seek professional advice as to what documentation they should have in place to protect their interests. Cohabitation agreements and Wills are nearly always recommended and we can assist in drafting both of these documents as well as advising on inheritance and tax planning.
For further help and assistance on Wills and Probate matters please contact David Farr or Keith Darvill on 01708 757575 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Cheryl Low, our specialist family law solicitor can provide further advice on cohabitation agreements, pre-nuptial agreements and divorce matters. Call Cheryl on 01708 757575 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org