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If a person dies without having made a proper or valid Will, that person dies “Intestate”.

There are consequences of not having a Will and dying intestate. For example: 

  • The deceased person’s wishes about how he or she wants the Estate to be distributed will not be known, nor will those wishes be carried out;
  • There is no “Executor” appointed to carry out the deceased’s wishes. It is necessary for (usually the next of kin) to apply to the Court for “Letters of Administration” instead of applying for “Probate”. Obtaining Letters of Administration may be more complex and more expensive than obtaining a Grant of Probate.
  • The Law dictates what happens to the Testator’s Estate and how it is to be distributed. This is usually different from the Testator’s wishes, which will only be carried out under the terms of a valid Will.
  • Under a Will, the Executor is appointed by the Testator. However, under Intestacy (i.e. without a Will) the Administrator must report to the Public Trustee as to his or her Administration of the deceased’s Estate, which adds a layer of expense to the process of finalising an Estate.

See one of our Adelaide Lawyers or Modbury Lawyers at WBG Legal for advice regarding all matters relating to Wills and Estate Planning. Contact us now to make a no obligation appointment. 


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