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Diego Maradona, the legendary Argentinian footballer who died recently after suffering a heart attack, is reported to have left no Will. With no clear instructions on how he wanted his wealth to be shared, it’s likely that his children will face a complex inheritance dispute with his rumoured additional offspring.

Maradona recognised three daughters and two sons by four different women. In April last year Argentinian, Magali Gil took legal action to prove Maradona was her father and there are others that have gone public alleging parentage.

The famous footballer player amassed a fortune during his career including real estate, investments, jewellery, luxury cars and even a tank. Assets were distributed in the countries where he played, lived or managed teams during his career, including Argentina, Spain, Italy, United Arab Emirates, Belarus and Mexico.  However, after various financial problems it is speculated that his fortune has significantly reduced.

The rights to his image and memorabilia such as the shirt worn in the World Cup final are of course difficult to estimate and could hugely boost the value of his estate.

A message recorded by Maradona in 2019 threatened to leave his family without any inheritance. “I know that now, as you get older, they care more about what you leave than what you are doing. And I tell everyone that I am not going to leave anything for them, that I am going to donate it. Everything that I ran in my life I am going to donate” said the footballer.

However, under Argentine law certain forced heirship rules apply so that children and spouses must receive two-thirds and they cannot be deprived of it. Only up to one-fifth of assets can be left by a Will.

This differs from English laws, that does not have forced heirship rules and a Will may detail how you want all your assets  shared. Unfortunately, over half of adults in the UK do not have a Will, although the Covid pandemic has encouraged more people to think about making one.

Why make a Will?

With people leading more complex lives, especially if they have divorced a couple of times and have children from various relationships, it’s even more important to consider making a Will to ensure your wishes are carried out when you die and avoid your family getting involved in an inheritance dispute.  Steps can be taken to deal with complicated situations and it’s essential to get professional legal advice.

If you are contesting a Will, our specialist lawyers have experience helping existing beneficiaries  or potential beneficiaries facing a proof of parentage dispute and tackling issues such as posthumous DNA testing.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.