What happens if there isn’t a Will?
If someone close to you has passed away without a will, the law says that is a person who has died intestate. The rules of intestacy specify who can act, and how the assets of a person are to be distributed.
It will be necessary for an interested person to nominate themselves to act as the Personal Representative for the deceased. The Personal Representative has the same role as an executor appointed under a will. However, because there was no will, the role as Personal Representative needs to be approved before any significant decisions can be made.
The appointment of a Personal Representative must be made to someone from the list of potential persons stated by the law. In fact, an appointment can only be made to someone further “down the line” if those higher up the line of priority confirm that they are unable to unwilling to act.
This is another example of the importance of preparing a will. Why let the law decide who is the person you trust most?
After the Letters of Administration have been granted, the estate administration process is similar to an administration with a will. The significant exception is when it comes time to distribution. Rather than simply following the directives in the will, the government laws for distribution must be followed.
I have been left out of the will. What can I do?
The Supreme Court has authority to accept or reject wills, and can make Orders for provision to be made for family members left out of a will. The Court will assess your circumstances, including your own financial circumstances, the size of the estate and the nature of your relationship with the deceased.
Time limits apply for these applications, so call us quickly to discuss your options.