The information provided below is general in nature and should not be relied upon legal advice. You should call 03 5445 1000 and speak to a lawyer at OFRM about your particular circumstances.

The Perils of Leaving It to Chance

The Perils of Leaving It to Chance

What happens if I die without a will? I’m sure the default outcome for many is the common sense approach of “It’ll be right.”

While in some cases the above, relaxed attitude to estate planning may fortunately lead to the desired result, how many of us know exactly what the rules of intestacy may produce in if we die without a will?

If you leave a partner and no children your partner is entitled to 100% of the Estate. From an asset perspective this could be the preferred outcome. However there are added complications of administering an Estate without a will for without one, simple tasks such as changing the registration of motor vehicles become significantly more difficult.

What if I leave a partner and children? The first $100,000 will go to your partner along with a third of the remainder. The remaining two thirds go to the children, regardless of age. The complications of this formula are obvious when it comes to estates comprising solely of the family home.

While the above two examples have their complications the final example is a clear demonstration of why it is best not to leave it to chance.

The deceased was separated from her spouse but not divorced, never re-partnered, never had children. She also never made a Will. She always assumed that her estate would go to her parents as her next of kin. When she died, her spouse inherited her entire estate under the rules of intestacy.

Due to a recent change in the Victorian legislation her parents were not eligible to make a claim against the estate as they were too far removed. There was nothing that could be done after her death.

Making assumptions about estate planning can lead to undesirable results, you are much better to plan for the future and make a time to discuss your Will with one of our lawyers – phone 03 5445 1000 to make an appointment.