Intestacy: What is it, and what are the rules?

Intestacy: What is it, and what are the rules?

November 15, 2017

What is?

If you die without a will, this is what is known as ‘intestate’. Intestacy are the laws and rules set in place in the event of an intestate.

What are the Intestacy Rules?

The Queensland laws of intestacy are outlined in Part 3 of the Succession Act 1981. These rules are put in place in order to determine how estates with no will are distributed when there is no will in place. They are the governing device that will see your estate distributed appropriately to next of kin (spouse, de facto, children, grandchildren, etc.).

In the event that there is no spouse or children, the laws dictate that the estate go to (in order of significance) parents, siblings, nephews and nieces, grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins. Your estate will not be distributed to anyone more remotely related than a first cousin.

Intestacy: What is it, and what are the rules?

In-laws are exempt from being qualified for provisions, as they are not classified as next of kin and so are not included in intestacy’s rules for distribution of your estate. This is true too of a step-parent, mother-in-law or father-in-law.

Since the Succession Act 1981, there have been modifications to the intestacy rules. As such, it is the date of a person’s death that determines who is entitled to the estate.

For Example:

  • In May 1998, a de facto partner had the same entitlement rights as a spouse.
  • Since 1981, to be entitled, a beneficiary must survive the interstate person by at least 30 days.

If you are unsure about what rules apply in cases of interstate, feel free to consult with us at Radich Lawyer’s. Nicholas Radich specialises in civil litigation and can assist you in all legal matters pertaining to will and estate law. Give our Gold Coast office a call for a free assessment of your situation and some frank, legal advice.