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Intestacy

What happens if you die without a Will?

If a person dies without a valid Will, he or she dies “intestate”. Some examples of situations where an intestacy may occur:

  • after making a valid Will (that has not been made in contemplation of marriage or divorce) a person divorces or marries;
  • the person never made a valid Will;
  • if the person making the Will is of unsound mind or mentally incapable at the time of making his or her Will; and
  • if the Will is damaged to the extent that it cannot be read or interpreted.

If a person dies intestate, the intestacy legislation determines the distribution of that person’s estate.

In Western Australia, the governing legislation is the Administration Act 1903, which applies to both real estate and the personal estate of the deceased.

De facto partners of any sex now have inheritance rights under the Administration Act 1903 (WA). In order for this to apply you will need to establish that your relationship was a de facto relationship. If you lived as a de facto partner with the deceased for at least two years immediately before their death you are now entitled to share in the estate in certain circumstances.

In Western Australia, the estate of a person who dies intestate may be distributed between:

  • the deceased’s spouse (including a spouse, separated spouse and de facto partner);
  • the deceased’s children; and
  • in some cases, other relatives of the deceased (e.g. parents, siblings, grandchildren, etc).

Persons not entitled to benefit under the intestacy rules include:

  • relatives by marriage other than a spouse;
  • step-children; and
  • any person economically dependent upon the deceased who does not fall into one of the other relationships.

If there is no person entitled to an intestate property, his or her estate passes to the Crown (government).

If you would like to know more information, please contact the team at Lynn & Brown today.

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Frequently Asked Questions

In Australia surveys show that about 60% of adults do not have a valid Will in place. If you do not have a valid, or up to date Will, you or family may experience the following difficulties: Your property may not go to the people you want it to go

Contact us today for an appointment with one of our lawyers. They will be pleased to assist you to create a Will suited to your circumstances.

Some of the key reasons for preparing a Will are: To ensure that your estate goes to the people that you want and need to provide for. To avoid your estate going to people that you may not want it to go to. To minimise the risk of having a

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