What do these famous people have in common?
Bob Marley, Prince, Jimi Hendrix, Amy Winehouse and Martin Luther King all died without a valid Will.
Dying without a Will or dying ‘intestate’ is more common than you think. It’s estimated that almost half of the people in Queensland don’t have a valid and up-to-date Will.
When someone dies without a Will, it can place an unnecessary burden on those they love. A valid and up-to-date Will ensures a person’s wishes are known and that their assets are transferred to beneficiaries in an orderly manner during a time of grief and loss.
So what happens when someone dies intestate?
When you die without a Will in Queensland, your assets are distributed in line with Part 3 of the Succession Act 1981.
What are the rules of intestacy in Queensland?
- In the first instance, your estate will go to your next of kin. This may include your spouse or de facto partner, your children or your grandchildren.
- If you don’t have a spouse, de facto partner, children or grandchildren your assets would be distributed to your parents, brothers and sisters, nephews and nieces, then grandparents, then uncles, aunts and cousins.
- There is no provision to distribute your estate to relatives more remote than your first cousins.
- In-laws or step-parents are not considered next of kin and are not included in the rules for the distribution of your estate.
- A beneficiary must survive the intestate person by at least 30 days to be entitled to share in the estate.
- A de facto partner can be a same-sex partner, or of any gender and has the same rights as a spouse. To share in the estate of a partner who has died intestate, the relationship must have been in existence continuously for at least two years ending on the deceased’s death.
How we can help
The Public Trustee can help any Queenslander to review or create their will for free. The only action required is making an appointment.
In the 18-19FY, the Public Trustee assisted over 28,400 Queenslanders to update or create their will at no cost.