Myth & Facts About Wills: “Social Security Will Look After Me”

Intestacy: The Hidden Risks and Costs of Dying Without a Valid Will

Intestacy The Hidden Risks and Costs of Dying Without a Valid Will

 Perhaps you intend to create a Will but just haven’t gotten around to it, or maybe the size of your estate is such that you don’t think you need one. “Dying intestate” is the legal term for dying without a Will or leaving a Will that does not adequately deal with all of your property.

Intestacy is all but a guarantee that your loved ones will suffer a needlessly complex and expensive legal process after your death. Your best protection is to make your wishes known by consulting with a specialist Adelaide Wills lawyer at Genders & Partners.

Family Disputes and Costly Legal Battles

A Will dictates how your assets are distributed and names executors to lawfully carry out your wishes. Without a Will in place, you have no say in who inherits what. There are intestacy laws in every state and territory of Australia that determine the distribution of assets among your nearest blood relatives, but your loved ones may dispute the process and cause drawn-out legal battles, the costs of which are deducted from the estate. These state laws vary from time to time and from place to place, so the precise formula which decides who will inherit your assets depends on when and where you die.

Wills and Estate Planning Adelaide: 10 More Reasons to Make a Will in Adelaide

10 More Reasons to Make a Will in Adelaide

If you die without a Will, you are deemed to have died “intestate” and your estate will have to be administered at Court in accordance with an inflexible statutory formula which will determine where your estate will go. This can result in unintended results for some people, perhaps contrary to what they would have wanted.

Many people believe that if they are married and they die without a Will, all their property will automatically go to their surviving spouse. That is frequently NOT the case in Australia.

If you are married, all jointly-owned property will pass by right of survivorship to your spouse.  Matrimonial property (essentially property acquired during the marriage) will also generally go to your spouse.

However, if you also have one or more children, state law will provide a formula which will direct the share of the separate property (property acquired before marriage or inherited during the marriage) which will go to each of them. This can be an unintended result if the estate is modest and your surviving spouse needs all the estate-assets to make ends meet.