Dying without a Will is a burden for loved ones who are left behind.
Making a Will is to protect the future of loved ones who are left behind. Dying without a Will can be a very complicated and time consuming situation for your loved ones. They may be left with little idea of what to do next.
When a person dies without a Will, the wishes of the deceased person are not clear and the estate of the deceased person is left in limbo.
When a person dies without a Will, it is said that they died ‘intestate’. Instead of an ‘executor’ being appointed, an ‘administrator’ is appointed by the Supreme Court of NSW. This is not an automatic process. The Supreme Court is not told every time a person dies without a Will. Instead, an interested person, such as the next-of-kin, will need to apply to the Court for what is called a ‘letters of administration.’ They will need to provide evidence that there was no Will and tell the court in Affidavit form of all the searches they have done to try and find a Will.
Once the Supreme Court has appointed an ‘administrator’ it is the administrator’s duty to arrange funeral expenses, collect the assets of the estate, pay debts and finally distribute the estate in accordance with a predetermined formula under the law.
The formula of how the estate is to be distributed is complex and depends on the family structure and value of the estate. It is therefore essential that you seek legal advice should you be faced with a loved-one dying without a Will.
Our team at Vaarzon-Morel Solicitors can help ensure that a person’s estate is properly administered under the law. We are here to assist you in applying for Letters of Administration and to properly administer the estate to ensure a smooth process for everybody involved.