Planning to Die without a Will – New Intestacy Laws
Unlike Egyptian Pharaohs, you’re probably not planning to take it all with you, so you probably don’t plan to die without a Will (intestate).
However, you might be like many of us and haven’t got around to making one yet, or your Will may be out of date and it no longer disposes of the whole of your estate.
If you do die without a Will (or without a Will that disposes of the whole of your estate) you have died intestate or partially intestate and after the new Intestacy Laws come into operation on 1 November 2017 your estate will be dealt with in the following way.
You die leaving a partner but no children
Your partner will take your whole estate.
You die leaving a partner and a child or children of that partner
Your partner will still take your whole estate. This is a dramatic departure from the previous intestacy laws.
You die leaving a partner and a child or children who are not a child of that partnership
Your partner will take all of your chattels and a “statutory legacy” (indexed to CPI), which is currently $451,909.00. If your estate is worth less than the statutory legacy then your partner will take the whole estate. If your estate is worth more than the statutory legacy then your partner will also take ½ of the balance of your estate and your children (who were not children of the partnership) will take the remaining ½ of your estate shared equally if there is more than one child. If any of these children die before you then their children (your grandchildren) will take their share in equal shares.
You die leaving more than one partner (lucky you!)
Without going into the detail, unless an agreement with reached between the partners (good luck with that) or the court makes a distribution order your estate will be shared equally between your partners.
Your die leaving no partners and so on….
Children – If you die leaving no partners then your estate will be distributed equally between your children. If your children die before you then the share they would have taken will be distributed to their children in equal shares.
Parents – If you die leaving no partners and no children then your estate will be distributed equally between your parents.
Siblings – if you die leaving no partners, no children and no parents then your estate will be distributed equally between your siblings and if any of your siblings die before you then the share they would have taken will go to their children (your nieces and nephews) in equal shares.
Grandparents – If you die leaving no partners, no children, no parents and no siblings or nieces or nephews (this is starting to feel like a children’s song….) then your grandparents equally.
Aunts, uncles or cousins – If you die leaving no partners, no children, no parents and no siblings or nieces or nephews and no grandparents then your estate will be shared equally between your aunts and uncles and if they die before you then the share they would have taken will go to your cousins equally.
Crown – and finally if none of the people described above have survived you then your estate will be left to the Crown.
For more information please contact our friendly and professional team at Peter Speakman & Co on 9822 8611.