If you die without making a valid will, you leave what is known as an ‘intestacy’. In other words, you have not validly disposed of some or all of your assets.
Many people believe the Government takes their assets if they die without a will. This is not true. It could only happen if you have no living next of kin. However, if you die without a will, your assets will be distributed according to a legal formula.
The main thing to understand is that you can’t assume anything about who gets what. This might mean that your assets do not end up with the person you would have chosen. It also means that you have no control over who distributes your assets. Don’t assume that a wife, husband or de facto will automatically inherit on the death of their partner – because it’s just not that simple.
An example of what intestacy can mean In Queensland, a married person gets any personal or household articles, but only the first $150,000 of the balance of the estate, and as little as a one third share of the balance after that, depending on how many children there are. Up to two thirds of the balance could go to the children. And if it’s more complicated than that – then the rules get more complicated too.
Contact Smith Legal Solutions to find out more information about your specific situation.
What do you do when someone you know dies without leaving a Will?
If there’s no Will, there’s no-one with the authority to deal with the person’s affairs. So one or more members of the deceased’s family can apply to the Supreme Court for a Grant of Letters of Administration. These show that the Supreme Court is satisfied that the person named in the Grant has the authority to administer the estate. The Court will issue a Grant of Letters of Administration to you if it is satisfied that:
- The deceased died intestate
- You’re the only eligible person to administer the estate or that other eligible persons have consented to your application; and
- You undertake to administer the estate according to the laws of intestacy
If you’re dealing with an intestate problem, where someone has died without leaving a Will, Smith Legal Solutions can help and advise you on the best way to handle it.
It costs a lot more to obtain a Grant of Letters of Administration than it does to prepare a Will and obtain Probate. So why not make sure you have your Will prepared, making it easier for your loved ones?
Don’t put off to tomorrow, what can be done today. Tomorrow may be too late.