Footballer Maradona Dies Intestate
By not writing a will, Maradona has left his extended family facing potentially heavy taxes and legal fees on his £55m estate. What would happen if you died?
Did you ever work abroad and leave assets or a pension behind? Or even tax demands? Do you own, or share, property outside the UK? Might it be in a country like Cyprus or Spain where there are rules about who you can leave it to?
The Argentine football icon died at 60 last week, leaving behind a complicated financial legacy that echoes his exotic personal life.
Maradona had a big family, fathering at least eight children over decades of romantic entanglements with six different women in Argentina, Italy and Cuba. His inheritance might be expected to be divided equally among those children. And perhaps some of the ex-wives.
Under Argentine law (Código Civil y Comercial de la Nación or CCCN) a person can only give away a third of their assets in a will, with the rest passed on to their children or spouse(s). One child’s lawyer has already asked a court to exhume the footballer's body to collect a sample for a DNA test.
Maradona's apparent heirs - recognised or not - can file a claim for a share of his inheritance in court nine days after his death on 25 November. A judge will then decide "who takes what" before issuing what's known as the declaration of heirs.
Since Maradona does not appear to have left a will, and had no spouse at the time of death, his children should, in theory, receive an equal share of the entire estate.
Without a will, things will get technical and expensive in legal fees.
In the meantime, Maradona’s lawyer said, "We can't predict if the heirs are going to get along well".
After all, you can't choose your family. That, some might say, is decided by the Hand of God.
Writing A Legally Binding Will in Scotland
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Just as an example did you know that British nationals with property in Cyprus can opt for UK law for the administration of their estate in the event of their death and avoid the Cypriot forced heirship regime altogether. The decision to apply UK law should be mentioned clearly in the will, as failing to do so will make the Cypriot law of succession applicable by default.
The late Peter Ustinov left defective wills. The outcome: Lawyers £22m. Heirs £1.4m