Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Died without a will

A good place to start when making a will is to see who is eligible to inherit your property if you die without a will (the legal term for this is: 'intestate succession').
From 1 March 2010 there have been significant changes to 'intestate succession'. The major changes to previous intestacy rules:
  • The primacy of the spouse's entitlement to an intestate estate is emphasised;
  • There is now a concept of multiple spouses;
  • There is no longer a distinction between brothers and sisters of the half blood or full blood;
  • First cousins can now inherit;
  • The categories of persons who can apply to the State for provision if there are no eligible relatives has been expanded;
  • Eligible relatives must survive the intestate by 30 days and be born before the intestate's death. If born after the intestate's death, he or she must have been in utero before the intestate's death and survive at least 30 days after birth; and
  • There is specific provision for Indigenous people.
The Succession Amendment (Intestacy) Act 2009 commenced on 1 March 2010, and it now forms Chapter 4 of the Succession Act 2006.
See a solicitor when making a will to discuss how your circumstances fit in these rules.
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