When Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, died in April at the age of 99, he reportedly left sizable bequests to three key staff members – to the tune of 30 million British pounds. As one would expect, the bulk of Prince Philip’s estate will likely pass to his wife, the Queen, as she was the co-owner of many of his assets. However, a source at Buckingham Palace reported that Prince Philip wanted to give assets to three close aides, including his private secretary, Brigadier Archie Miller Bakewell, his page, William Henderson, and his valet, Stephen Niedojadlo. The three men were apparently instrumental in the prince’s care in his final years.
Despite news stories highlighting the differences of opinion between Prince Harry and the rest of his family last year, the source at Buckingham Palace stated that Prince Philip was “not the sort of character to punish a grandson for misbehaving” and that the gifts to Prince Philip’s aides would not impact any inheritance Prince Harry might receive. These gifts to aides, rather, were part of Prince Philip’s careful estate plan, which included planning for potential inheritance taxes.
Beyond these unconfirmed reports, little is known about the makeup of Prince Philip’s estate or about the details of how and to whom it will ultimately pass. Understandably, the royal family has asked that their privacy be respected during this time.
Do you have specific bequests you would like to leave to individuals or organizations when you die? If so, it is important to plan proactively. At The Estate Planning & Legacy Law Center, we help people of all walks of life create thoughtful, deliberate estate plans and documents designed to ensure their goals and wishes for their assets will be carried out. To learn more, contact us today!