When you pass away without a will (valid will), you are deemed to have died intestate. This means that your estate will be administered and distributed according to legislation.
The benefit of having a will is that you can appoint an executor to administer your estate and dictate how you wish for your estate to be distributed.
When a person dies intestate, and there are assets requiring the estate to have an administrator, an eligible person must apply to the Court for Letters of Administration. The person the Court grants Letters of Administration to, becomes the legal representative of the estate.
In descending priority the following people are eligible to apply to the Court to be the administrator of an estate of a person who died without a will:
When applying for Letters of Administration, each of the persons who have priority must be “cleared off the record”. Therefore, if you are a child of the deceased and you are applying for Letters of Administration, the Court must be satisfied that the deceased did not have a spouse at the time of their death.
How an intestate estate is distributed depends on the circumstances of the deceased.
The Succession Act 1981 (Qld) dictates that the estate will be distributed to the closest next of kin to the deceased, first being the spouse and children of the deceased.
If the deceased did not have a spouse or children, then the estate will be distributed to the following people (in the following order):
If you are dealing with an intestate estate and have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.