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With All The Will In The World

It is never a pleasant thought to contemplate but the truth is, we will all go one day.Have you contemplated what would happen in the unfortunate event of you dying without a valid Will (Intestate)?

Many people believe the government will take their assets if they don’t have a Will, however, this could only happen if you had no living next of kin. In such a case your assets are distributed according to a legal formula which may mean your assets go to someone who you wouldn’t have chosen to receive them. Each State or Territory has it’s own intestacy laws which reflect what happens to a person’s estate if there is no valid Will.

Below is a table prepared by Estate Planners, Topdocs Legal Pty Ltd that may contain news of an alarming nature to some.

Spouse

Children

State or Territory

1st $

% Remainder

% Remainder

Portion

$

Portion

$

Queensland

$150K

1/3

$233k

2/3

$467K

New South Wales

N/A

100%

$850K

0

$0

Victoria

$100K

1/3

$250K

2/3

$500K

Tasmania

N/A

100%

$850K

0

$0

South Australia

$100K

½

$375K

½

$375K

Western Australia

$50K

1/3

$267K

2/3

$533K

ACT

$200K

1/3

$217K

2/3

$433K

NT

$350K

1/3

$167K

2/3

$333K

Based on Wife or Husband and 3 children (of the same deceased). Estate value (excluding chattels) $850,000.

NOTE: Chattels automatically go to the remaining spouse, as does the family home if owned in joint names.

So, for example, if a couple had been separated for years and never formally filed for divorce, the law in the respective State would dictate the portion of the estate based on their formula (not whether a spouse had abandoned their partner and children and really didn’t deserve a portion of the estate). Blended families also present challenges because when a spouse dies, their children from a previous relationship are no longer legally considered ‘step children’ of the remaining partner and may miss out on receiving anything at all under the intestacy laws which would probably not have been the intention of the deceased.

The important point to note is that as your life circumstances change, making a Will or reviewing and updating your current Will ensures that your wishes as to who receives the benefit of your estate is your decision, not the various State intestacy laws.


Click HERE to download the full edition of The Business Accelerator Magazine for March 2016

Other articles in this edition:

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER:This newsletter is issued as a guide to clients and for their private information. This newsletter does not constitute advice. Clients should not act solely on the basis of the material contained in this newsletter. Items herein are general comments only and do not convey advice per se. Also changes in legislation may occur quickly. We therefore recommend that our formal advice be sought before acting in any of these areas.

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