If you die without leaving a Will, you are deemed to have died “intestate” and your estate is distributed by the rules of intestacy.
In Queensland, the Succession Act 1981 (Qld) outlines who benefits where a person has died intestate, namely:
Deceased survived by spouse and no children:
- surviving spouse receives whole of residuary estate.
Deceased survived by spouse and 1 child:
- surviving spouse receives $150,000.00, household contents and ½ of residuary estate; and
- surviving child receives ½ of residuary estate.
Deceased survived by spouse and 2 or more children:
- surviving spouse receives $150,000.00, household contents and 1/3 of residuary estate; and
- surviving children share in remaining 2/3 of residuary estate.
Deceased is survived by children (no surviving spouse)
- surviving children will receive whole of residuary estate.
Deceased is not survived by spouse or children
- deceased’s parents will share in whole of residuary estate..
- if deceased not survived by parents: estate shared by next of kin (next of kin is also)
- if deceased has no surviving next of kin: the estate is deemed to be bona vacantia and the Crown is entitled to it.
The consequences of not leaving a Will (dying intestate):
- it may not align with your wishes for asset distribution;
- you have no control over who will handle your affairs on your passing (it is determined by legislation and/or the court);
- it is necessary to make a court application to obtain a Grant of Letters of Administration (potentially incurring unnecessary legal costs); and
- it may lead to disputes between family members as to the deceased’s wishes and intentions.
If you have not made a Will or your circumstances have changed since you last made your Will, please contact The Small Business Lawyer to arrange a consultation. Our initial meeting may be held in person or via Zoom.