Do you have a Will in place?

 Tuesday, November 21, 2017


While many people know the importance of having a Will in place, there are an alarming number of people who not have one in place either because they see it as something that they will do when they get “older” or because they don’t see the importance of writing one.

If you pass away without a valid Will, you will have died intestate. In these cases, your assets are distributed according to the Rules of Intestacy, in a set order laid down by the law. This order probably won’t reflect your wishes.

In Victoria the Rules of Intestacy provide as follows:

  • If you leave a spouse or domestic partner, but no children, then your spouse or domestic partner will receive your whole Estate;
  • If you leave a spouse or domestic partner and children, your spouse will receive the first $100,000 and one third of the residue, while your children will receive the remaining two thirds equally;
  • If there is no spouse or domestic partner and no children, then your parents will receive your whole Estate. If your parents have predeceased you, then your Estate will pass to your siblings. If you have no siblings, the Administrator of your Will will continue to trace your family tree and collateral relatives;

New South Wales Rules of Intestacy are a little different and provide as follows:

  • If you leave a spouse or domestic partner, but no children, then your spouse or domestic partner will receive your whole Estate;
  • If you leave a spouse or domestic partner and children, and the children are your spouse's children, your spouse is entitled to the whole estate.
  • If you leave a spouse or domestic and children, but the children are not the spouse's children, the spouse is entitled to, your personal effects, $350,000.00 and half of the residue, while your children will receive the remaining one half equally.
  • If you leave no spouse but leave children, your children will share the whole estate equally.

To make a new Will or to update an existing Will please contact Zoe Broadbent at Cosgriff Lawyers (03) 5480 6344.