Protecting & passing on wealth

Publish date

11 September 2018

Planning for all eventualities: The use of ‘common tragedy clauses’ in wills

Richard Cousins, chief executive of Compass Group, died in a seaplane crash with his two sons, fiancée, and her daughter on New Year’s Eve 2018. Had his sons survived him, they would have inherited his £41 million fortune. Instead, the great majority of his state was left to Oxfam as a result of a ‘common tragedy clause’ in his will which set out what would happen if the sons died before, or at the same time as, Mr Cousins.

Much has been made in the media of the ‘windfall’ inherited by Oxfam as a consequence of this ‘common tragedy clause’. If you have already made a will and you can’t see any reference to such a term, don’t worry; it is more commonly known as a ‘default clause’ or ‘long stop provision’…

Article written by Amy Wilford and Sarah Nettleship, Thomson Snell & Passmore originally published in ePrivate client. Read the full article here: Planning for all eventualities: The use of ‘common tragedy clauses’ in wills.

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