Continuing the three-part blog series covering the death of best-selling Swedish author, Stieg Larsson, we’ll further discuss the importance of drafting a will, especially for those in long-term marriages. As the story of the aftermath of Stieg Larsson’s death demonstrates, creating a written will is extremely important.
Since his death, his long-term girlfriend, Eva Gabrielsson, filed a lawsuit asserting a moral right to his estate. Offered over $2 million to settle her lawsuit, Gabrielsson rejected an offer from his heirs to settle her lawsuit. Larsson drafted a will in 1977 leaving his assets to the Socialist Party. Since it was not properly witnessed, Swedish courts declared his will invalid. Because it was invalid, his estate passed to his surviving heirs according to the country’s intestacy laws. Although Eva Gabrielsson and Stieg Larsson never married or had children together, many believe she should have received at least some share of his estate, since the primary reason for why they chose to remain unmarried was for security concerns. The pair would have had to disclose their addresses publicly to obtain a Swedish marriage license.
Was the result equitable? If Stieg Larsson drafted a valid will before his death, he most likely would have included her as a beneficiary of his estate. Their relationship, which spanned over three decades, was described by close friends as one filled with support and much love.