What happens to your estate if you die without a will?

By Jason Laming, Financial Advisor

In Australia everyone has an Estate Plan already, a will of sorts, whether you have written one down or not.

The rules that govern this are called Intestacy Laws and they determine how your estate is split up if you don’t have a valid will in place when you die. The rules are different in every state and are essentially a set formula the courts apply and can result in an outcome that is less than favourable for your surviving family. You can see a simplified explanation of the Intestacy formula here and you can follow the path to your likely outcome.

Is this the outcome you expected or would want for your family?

Another issue to consider is the fact that your surviving family will need a document to enable them to sort out your estate when you die. The only option you have is whether you provide this beforehand by establishing a valid will or if they have to apply to the courts for ‘letters of administration’ at a time they are grieving your death. The second option adds complexity and stress at a time you may want things to be as easy as possible.

It is, for this reason, I believe the size or complexity of your estate should have no bearing on if you establish a valid will or not.

The question to ask is not ‘is my estate worth it?’, but should rather be, ‘do I want to make things easy or hard for my family?’

If you have any questions about estate planning or would like to speak with a Blueprint Wealth advisor, please contact us.

Jason Laming is an authorised representative and credit representative of AMP Financial Planning. Blueprint Planning Pty Ltd (ABN 78 097 264 554), trading as Blueprint Wealth, is an authorised representative and credit representative of AMP Financial Planning, Australian Financial Services Licensee and Australian Credit Licensee (AFSL / ACL 232 706).

This article contains information that is general in nature. It does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. You need to consider your financial situation and needs before making any decisions based on this information.

If you decide to purchase or vary a financial product, your financial adviser, AMP Financial Planning Pty Ltd and other companies within the AMP Group may receive fees and other benefits. The fees will be a dollar amount and/ or a percentage of either the premium you pay or the value of your investment. Please contact Blueprint Wealth on (08) 9423 0300 if you want more information.