We spend our lives earning money and building up our assets so it’s important that you have the final say in how your estate will be distributed when you pass away.
When a person dies, if they have created a valid Will before their death, the executor nominated in the Will can apply to the Supreme Court for a grant of probate to administer their estate.
If the deceased did not make a valid Will before their death, they die as an intestate. The rules of intestacy in NSW are set out in the Succession Act 2006. In these circumstances, rather than the deceased’s executor applying for probate, the Supreme Court Will issue letters of administration. This allows an administrator to distribute assets in the manner prescribed by the intestacy rules. This means your assets will be divided up according to set formula, rather than following your plans.
But it’s just important to know how you’ll pass on this wealth when you’re gone. By creating a valid Will and getting started with your estate planning, you can rest assured that your wishes will be followed in the case of death.
It’s important to not only establish a valid Will, but keep it up to date as your situation changes (e.g. marriage, divorce, new family members, or selling assets).
While many Australians know the importance of having a valid Will, we see far too many neglecting to consider estate planning. While your Will covers your final wishes, an estate plan deals with a whole range of other aspects relating to your wealth management.