Intestacy - where there is no Will

Intestacy, dying without leaving a Will, means you have not validly disposed of your assets in your lifetime.

If a loved one has died without a valid Will, then they have passed away intestate  - meaning without a Will. This can be a very stressful time for people who have lost a loved one and do not know what needs to happen to take care of their affairs.

If you are in this position, and do not know what to do, we can help you. Please ring us today on +61 7 3001 2999.

Who handles their Estate?

The person who administers a deceased estate is either the Executor appointed under the Will, or in the absence of a Will, those persons who apply for Letters of Administration (who then become Administrators). The legislation outlines who has priority to apply for Letters of Administration on Intestacy.

In Queensland, these are (listed in order of priority): a surviving spouse, children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren, parents, siblings, nieces and nephews, grandparents, aunts and uncles and first cousins.

What happens to their Estate?

Where somebody dies without a Will the Succession Act 1981 (Qld) (“the Act”) governs what is to happen to his or her estate. The “Rules of Intestacy” contained within the Act dictate the manner in which an intestate’s estate must be administered. 

Who will inherit depends on whether the deceased had a spouse and children. If the deceased had no spouse and no children, then it depends on what family members survive them as to who inherits. In some circumstances, the government may inherit.