What Happens If You Don’t Have a Will?

A will is a legal document that allows you to express how you want your assets and property to be distributed when you die. Planning wills is a simple process that requires you to outline information such as benefactors and what they should receive.

However, as straightforward as estate planning and will creation is, at least half of Australians still don’t have a valid will. If you die without one, you’re leaving behind a complicated mess for your loved ones.

What Does the Law Say About Dying Without a Will?

The law can be complicated when it comes to what happens when you die without a will. The answer to that question can depend on where you live. If you die without a will in Australia, it’s called intestacy, or ‘dying interstate’.

Typically, the law allows your assets to be divided up among surviving immediate family members, such as a spouse or children. However, if no close family members can be found, your assets may be allocated to parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins.

Depending on the state, organisations and individuals may also be able to pursue moral claims against your assets and estate. A charity with close links to you and those not related to you may end up with some of your assets if successful.

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Categorized as Legal