As you may not be around when this happens, we thought it might be nice to let you know.
Passing away without a Last Will and Testament is known as “dying intestate” (not interstate) and can be very complicated, expensive and emotionally frustrating for many people involved. The government use a predetermined formula meaning your assets can go to people you didn’t wish had received them. The government does not receive your assets automatically but may end up with some or all of them in certain circumstances.
Dying intestate covers a number of scenarios such as having a poorly written Will, the Will not being signed correctly or the person whose Will it is did not have mental capacity at the time it was written.
The first step when someone dies intestate is the Supreme Court appoints an Administrator for your estate/assets. This Administrator is responsible for a range of activities such as arranging the funeral and distributing assets after any debts or taxes are paid.
The government then uses a pre-determined formula to distribute your assets which involves using percentage amounts. There are many steps and complications involved as part of this process with each step (such as researching your family tree) costing money which can be drawn directly from your assets/estate.
These formulas are often not adequate enough to cover all family members which is why we strongly emphasise the importance of having a will
Don’t leave your will until its too late – contact us today on 02 8052 3322 or firstname.lastname@example.org to ensure your wishes are carried out just the way you want!
By Jeremy Maspero