Where There's a Will, Life after Death Works; Local Law With

Article excerpt

Byline: Josh Fox

WHAT happens if I die without a will?

Many Australians still die without a will. When this happens it is known in legal terms as having died aintestatea. There are specific laws which say what happens when a person dies without a will. The downside is that you have no say in what happens to your estate on death. You cannot leave specific items such as boats, cars or blocks of land to specific people. The laws of the land determine how your assets are divided.

If you die without a will in a situation where there is no living relative who is eligible, your estate may be forfeited to the Crown. However, the range of eligible relatives under the legislation is very broad and it is unusual that there would be no eligible beneficiaries. What happens to your estate depends on your individual situation and which of your eligible relatives are still living when you die.

If you die without a will, the process is generally more time consuming and involved than if you had a will in place. If you have a will your aexecutora will handle your estate and distribute your assets in accordance with your directions. In an intestacy situation, the court will have to appoint an aadministratora to distribute your estate in accordance with the intestacy laws (which automatically apply when you die without a will). …