Celebrity Estate Lessons – Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth

You may think your estate is complicated, but do you have to be concerned with items that are actually owned by an entire country like Queen Elizabeth?

Queen Elizabeth’s estate was split into two parts: her personal items and the Crown estate. Her personal items were valued at over $420 million. While we don’t know the details of her Will, and won’t for some time, her properties will probably go to her children. According to rumor, Queen Elizabeth made a last-minute change to pass her jewelry on to Kate and her daughter, Princess Charlotte. Allegedly, Harry, Meghan, and their kids were written out of the documents. This is potentially due to the fact that, while the jewelry pieces are personal items, they’re often worn to official events, which the Duke and Duchess will no longer be attending.

The Crown estate immediately transfers to the next sovereign; in this case, King Charles III. This essentially only includes land, like Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, the seabed around England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, and various other properties around the UK. He also now owns all of the wild swans, whales, and dolphins in the country.

Once they pass, the Royal’s Wills are all kept together in a safe taken care of by High Court judge Sir Andrew McFarlane, who has no knowledge of what’s in the Wills. This has been the practice since the late 1800s, when Prince Francis of Teck stored his Will there. Since then, over 30 royal family member’s documents have been sealed and will stay that way for at least 90 years. But only current Royals are included in this, so Diana’s Will was released publicly and assumably Harry and Meghan’s will be, too. In fact, according to British law, all Wills except those of royal family members should be made public.

Your estate might not be as convoluted as this, but you may have similar concerns about things like privacy. While we probably can’t convince the British government to keep your Will locked up for 90 years, there are things that can be done to keep your documents under wraps. Get in touch with us and we’ll let you know how we can help.