WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DIE WITHOUT A WILL?
What is a will?
A will is a document that sets out your wishes on what will happen on your death. It can specify how you wish your property to be distributed and / or how you want your dependents such as your spouse and children to be cared for.
It is important that you have a will as it can save your loved ones a lot of time, stress and money and can minimise the risk of them being in dispute about how your property is to be distributed.
What happens when you die with a will?
If you die and there is a will, the person appointed to carry out your instructions under the will, known as the executor, needs to apply for probate in the High Court. Probate is an order that declares the will valid and gives the executor authority to deal with your estate. It is only when probate is granted, the executor can carry out the instructions under your will.
What happens when you die without a will?
If you die without a will, it is called dying “intestate”. In this case, any beneficiary or close family member can apply to the Court to be appointed the administrator to administer your estate.
The administrator will then distribute your estate according to the surviving relatives as set out in the chart below:
If you die without a will, you do not get to choose who to leave your assets to and they can get distributed differently to what you had wanted or intended. We know that it can be difficult for you to consider your own mortality, however, our empathetic lawyers at K3 Legal can help you prepare a will so that your assets are distributed according to your wishes. Please get in touch with us if you need help with your will.