Usually, the fundamental laws in the United States and the United Kingdom are very similar. This is because the United States inherited its laws from England. It is often the case in estate planning that the laws in the US and UK are very similar to this day. However, I recently came across one difference between the two countries that I found interesting and thought I would share with my readers.
In the United States, if you pass away without a Will, then your state’s laws of intestate succession determine how your estate will be distributed. Normally, that means that your closest living relatives will get your estate. In the United Kingdom, however, if you pass away without a Will, then your estate goes to the government. I’m sure there are exceptions for this for spouses, but I do not know what they are. However, where it really gets interesting is if you pass away without a Will in Cornwall. Your estate would not go to the government in that case. It goes to the Prince of Wales. Prince Charles gets it all. His policy is to donate everything to charity.
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