What happens when you pass away without a valid Will?
Note: This is a general overview of advance life planning and intestacy law is not to be considered as legal advice.
If you die without a Will your estate is distributed according to the Succession Act 1981. The Succession Act has a formula for how assets are distributed.
Did you know?
- If there is no surviving next of kin, and no one entitled to the estate, your estate will go to Queensland Treasury on behalf of the crown.
- If there is a beneficiary of an estate, but they cannot be found, their share may go to unclaimed monies, and held there in their name until they can claim it. This is the case even if there is a Will and the executor cannot find a beneficiary named in the Will.
- Half-siblings are treated as full siblings when it comes to finding your beneficiaries.
- If children under 18 are the beneficiaries, the funds are held in a trust until they are 18.
- Stepchildren and stepsiblings can argue a claim, but they are not automatic beneficiaries of an estate, unless they have been included in the Will.
- If there is no Will, the Public Trustee is often appointed to administer the estate on intestacy. However, this is not always the case. Sometimes a next of kin who would be entitled to benefit from the estate on intestacy will apply directly with the court to become the administrator of the estate.
- Depending on the situation, having two legal spouses can complicate distribution of an estate. Having two legal spouses can include a person you are legally married to but are separated from, and a new partner you have formed a de facto relationship with.
If you have any questions, we're here for you.