If you die without a valid Will in Queensland, your estate will be distributed according to the rules of intestacy. This means that the law decides who gets what, and how much, from your assets and belongings. This may not reflect your wishes or the needs of your family and loved ones.
The rules of intestacy are set out in the Succession Act 1981 (Qld) and they depend on whether you have a spouse, children, parents, siblings or other relatives. For example, if you have a spouse and no children, your spouse will inherit your whole estate. If you have a spouse and children, your spouse will get the first $150,000 of your estate plus half of the remainder, and your children will share the other half equally. If you have no spouse or children, your parents will get your estate. If you have no parents, your siblings will get your estate. And so on.
There are some disadvantages of dying without a Will in Queensland, such as:
– You have no control over who inherits your estate and how much they receive.
– You may cause disputes and conflicts among your family and loved ones, especially if they have different expectations or needs.
– You may leave some people out who would otherwise benefit from your estate, such as stepchildren, de facto partners, friends or charities.
– You may create unnecessary delays and costs in administering your estate, as the court may need to appoint an administrator and determine your beneficiaries.
– You may not be able to provide for any special circumstances, such as minor children, dependents with special needs, or complex assets.
– If they cannot find an heir it will go to the government (Crown) Do you really want to give the Government more than you need to?
Therefore, it is advisable to make a valid Will that reflects your wishes and circumstances. A Will is a legal document that sets out how you want your estate to be distributed after your death. It can also appoint an executor who will manage your estate and carry out your instructions. A Will can also include other provisions, such as guardianship for minor children, funeral arrangements, or specific gifts or bequests.
To make a valid Will in Queensland, you must:
– Be at least 18 years old (or younger if you are married or have the court’s permission)
– Have testamentary capacity (meaning that you understand what a Will is, what assets you have, who are your beneficiaries, and the consequences of making a Will)
– Make the Will voluntarily and without any undue influence or pressure from others
– Sign the Will in front of two witnesses who are also at least 18 years old and not beneficiaries of your Will
– Have the two witnesses sign the Will in your presence and in each other’s presence
You can make a Will yourself or with the help of a lawyer. However, it is recommended to seek legal advice if you have a large or complex estate, if you have beneficiaries with special needs, if you want to exclude someone from your Will, or if you anticipate any challenges or disputes over your Will.
Making a Will can give you peace of mind that your estate will be distributed according to your wishes and that your family and loved ones will be taken care of after your death. It can also avoid unnecessary stress and complications for them during a difficult time. If you don’t have a Will yet, don’t delay – contact us today to find out how we can help you make one.