What happens if I die without a Will?
If you die without a Will, you die intestate. This means, as you didn’t have a Will, no-one knows who you wanted as your beneficiaries and who you wanted as your executor. Your assets will then be distributed according to a pre-determined formula with certain family members receiving a defined percentage of your assets despite what you may have wished. Dying intestate can result in your surviving spouse, family and friends suffering unnecessary financial hardship and emotional stress. If you are in a defacto or same sex relationship, it is necessary to supply sworn evidence that the relationship existed.
If you die intestate and your only living relatives are more distant than cousins, the State government will receive your estate.
What if I’m living in a defacto or same sex relationship and I die without a Will?
If your partner can satisfy the legal requirements proving the relationship, they may be entitled to share in your estate on your death. The necessity of proving the relationship can result in additional expense and distress at a time when they are grieving. It is much easier to draft a Will naming your partner as a beneficiary.