Consequences of Dying Without A Will

Writing a will is considered a good practice. Acting thoughtful and writing a ‘will’ before you die could be a great relief for your loved ones. Atleast, they don’t have to fight another battle of doing the justifiable distribution of your estate other than having to lose you.

According to the said provisions, your next kin becomes the responsible head to receive the grant of probate application and letter of administration to execute the will.

While it’s best to consider the repercussions of your actions and put down the appropriate distribution of your assets onto the will well in time, what if you couldn’t do it while you are alive and die intestate.

Dying-intestate means to die without a will and leaving the task of administering your estate in the hands of state laws. Intestacy laws come into play in such cases and provide directives based on their set standards. However, if this is something you wish to avoid and want your assets to land in possession of the people you genuinely consider your legitimate heir, you must get your will ready before you die.   

So now we’ll shift between the scenarios and see who’ll acquire your estate in the absence of a will.

When you are Single

If you die single without any children, your parents will become the legitimate heir of your property, given they are alive when you die. Regardless of whether they are married or divorced, your possessions will go in their favour.

However, if a single parent is alive at that time, then he would inherit the estate in his favour. If you are neither survived by parents nor children,  then your siblings would get into the shoes of your heirs.

When you have a Spouse

When you die and have a spouse, the estate you left behind goes into your spouse’s possession. Irrespective of whether you have other heirs in the form of your parents, siblings or even your children, your spouse will get your estate.

Since Australian govt. recognise the de-facto couples; it is important to note that the same condition applies whether you’ve left behind a married spouse or a de facto spouse. (De facto laws must also be seen in coherence with the laws of specific territory or place when considering the inheritance of estate)  

When you have Children

In case the deceased is survived by the children alone, then the whole possession of the wealth and assets would go to his children. Nevertheless, if the children haven’t come of age (18 years), a guardian is appointed to look after the estate until they reach maturity.

In some cases, if there are children from another marriage or relationship, some part of wealth may be assigned to them depending upon the share of the wealth in totality.

Benefits of Making a Will

If you don’t have parents, spouses, siblings or children to claim their possession in your estate, the estate would find it to the grandchildren, aunts, uncles and cousins from your mother’s and father’s side.

Benefits of Creating a Will

  • Saving your heirs from the unnecessary hassle of proving their claim.
  • Reducing the chances of litigation. 
  • Appointment of a genuine guardian for your children.
  • Naming an administrator of your trust and choice.
  • Specifying your total worth in a single document.
  • You can mention the name of people who you want as your legal heir, irrespective of the relationship they share with you.  

How does the process follow when you have a will 

In case of a valid will, the next kin must follow a series of steps to ensure the systematic follow up. In the beginning, he must initiate by giving an online advertisement while applying for the probate application. In compliance, he must submit the application along with the documents of the person’s death certificate, proof of relationship with the deceased, statement or document confirming the assets and liabilities of the deceased.

In confirmation of his appointment as an administrator, he must undertake duties like contacting and informing the beneficiaries and resolving the dispute, if any. He is supposed to protect the assets and have insurance claims and he must also settle the bills or any outstanding payments on the liability part to reach the net value.

Note that there’s a slight difference between an executor and administrator. An executor fulfils the duty of executing a will when it’s well and present. Whereas, in the instance where there is no ‘will’, often the next kin of the deceased is asked to fill in the shoes of an Administrator and undertake his duties. 

Final Thoughts

By the time you acquire sufficient assets and attain the age of 18 years, you become eligible to prepare your will. However, it’s best to understand the scope of your possessions and realise the impact of not having a valid ‘will’.

You may revise it from time to time to bring it in accordance with your actual desire. Who you want to add in the list of beneficiaries or whose name you like to strike out from the list irrespective of the degree of closeness they share with you in terms of their relationship.

The motive of creating a will is to put an explicit expression of your desire on the legal paper as to whom you want to pass your possessions when you are no longer in this realm. Also, a clause of multiple wills arises; it is upto the administrator or next din to decide which one to validate for the further process.

We hope this article provided the needful insights concerning queries related to the will matters. For further help or assistance on this subject, consult a probate consultants for best advice and guidance, 

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