Administering an estate where there is no Will is likely to be very expensive, causing extra stress and financial worries at a difficult time.
Your estate will be dealt with in accordance to the law under the Administration Act 1969 and other applicable legislation. If you don’t have a Will, this can be quite complex and if you have children, your spouse or partner will not automatically inherit all your assets. A full description is below. But if you die without a Will you lose power to have your say, and instead the law decides for you.
This means that loved ones could miss out on their inheritance, and also possibly have to undertake a court application to appoint who takes care of your estate.
In some situations the distribution is clear, however often the position is a little more complex:
If your spouse/partner survives and you have had children – the spouse/partner receives all personal chattels, $155,000 and 1/3 of the remainder. The children receive the remaining 2/3 (in some cases the sale of a family home may be required to effect a necessary division of assets).
If your spouse/partner and parents are living but no children – your spouse receives all personal chattels, $155,000 and 2/3 of the remainder and your parents receive the remaining 1/3.
If there is no spouse/partner, children, or parents surviving – everything goes to other blood relatives such as grandparents, siblings, aunts or uncles or by default to the government.