Dying intestate, or without a valid will, can lead to complications and difficulties for your loved ones after your passing. In New South Wales, the law sets out specific rules for what happens to your estate if you die without a will. Understanding these rules can help you make informed decisions about your estate planning and ensure that your wishes are carried out after you pass away.
What Happens When You Die Intestate in New South Wales?
If you die without a valid will in New South Wales, your estate will be distributed according to the laws of intestacy. These laws set out a specific order of distribution, based on the relationship of your surviving family members to you. Here’s a breakdown of how your estate will be distributed if you die intestate in New South Wales:
– If you are survived by a spouse or de facto partner and have no children, your entire estate will go to your spouse or partner.
– If you are survived by a spouse or de facto partner and have children, your spouse or partner will receive the first $350,000 of your estate, as well as all your personal effects. The rest of your estate will be divided equally among your spouse or partner and your children.
– If you are survived by children but no spouse or de facto partner, your estate will be divided equally among your children.
– If you are survived by neither a spouse or de facto partner nor children, your estate will go to your parents (if they are still alive) or, if they have predeceased you, to your siblings. If you have no living siblings, your estate will be distributed among your more distant relatives.
What Are the Consequences of Dying Intestate?
Dying intestate can lead to a number of potential consequences for your loved ones. Here are a few key issues to be aware of:
– Lack of control over your assets: When you die intestate, you have no control over how your estate will be distributed. This means that your assets may not go to the people you would have wanted to receive them.
– Delays and complications: Dying intestate can lead to delays and complications in the distribution of your estate. This can cause unnecessary stress and expense for your loved ones.
– Disputes among family members: If your estate is distributed according to the laws of intestacy, there is a greater chance of disputes among family members. This can lead to legal battles and strained relationships.
Often the biggest issue that can arise when a person dies without a will is a claim from a person that they were in a de facto relationship with the deceased.
How Can You Avoid Dying Intestate?
The best way to avoid dying intestate is to create a valid will. We can assist you with obtaining a will for as little as $330 including GST. If you would like to speak to us about getting a valid will, please book a free consultation here or call us on 4934 6899 to book a free appointment with us to discuss how we can help.