What happens if I do not make a will - does it all go to the government ?
- When you die without a will, the legal term is "to die intestate." The estate only goes to the Government if you have no relatives of the required categories. In the next item, I have set out the list of relatives in order. If there are no relatives in one group then it drops to the next group and so on. If there are relatives in a higher group then those on the lower group get nothing. The word spouse means either legal spouse or de facto spouse (see next).
- if you don't have a will the persons entitled have to be established by documentary evidence such as birth, death and marriage certificates. These can sometimes be difficult to obtain if the events took place overseas or the details are unknown.
- in your will you name the Executor. If you have no will the person who deals with your assets may not be your choice. There may be a dispute amongst beneficiaries as to who should administer the estate.
- if any beneficiaries are under 18, the court will require the administrator obtain person guarantees (sureties) from two other persons. Those persons then become liable if the funds ‘disappear’. There may not be many people who are prepared to give such a guarantee.