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Intestacy and Partial Intestacy Laws

Overview

What happens when there is no will?

When a loved one dies without a Will, they are described as having died intestate. If your loved one had a Will but part of the instructions are not able to be carried out, then a partial intestacy arises.

The description of intestacy is not merely a word used to describe a person who dies without a Will. When a person dies intestate there are legal ramifications. In essence, it means that a person’s assets (Estate’ will be distributed in accordance with the rules of intestacy. These rules cover spouses, children, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.

Unfortunately, the rules do not take into account any other strong relationships formed by the deceased.

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How do Intestacy claims work?

The description of intestacy is not merely a word used to describe a person who dies without a Will. When a person dies intestate there are legal ramifications. In essence, it means that a person’s assets (Estate’ will be distributed in accordance with the rules of intestacy. These rules cover spouses, children, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews. Unfortunately, the rules do not take into account any other strong relationships formed by the deceased.

This can result in gross unfairness when the assets of the deceased are distributed in accordance with the rules of intestacy. If a loved one has died intestate then it is in your best interests to seek expert legal advice on exactly what you are entitled to receive under the rules and what actions you can take to remedy any unfairness in the distribution of assets.

The team at GMP Contesting a Will Lawyers and intestacy lawyers understand the rules of intestacy and how they apply in real life. We use this knowledge to assist clients when a loved one has died and they realise that they are not provided for under the rules. We also use this knowledge to assist clients when a person who had little or no relationship with the deceased, stands to receive a distribution from the deceased’s Estate.


Intestacy and partial intestacy raise complex legal questions that impact on the distribution of the deceased’s Estate. If a loved one has died without a Will, i.e. a no will intestate situation, or there is a partial intestacy in their Will you need to seek legal advice as soon as possible on what action is available to you to rectify the situation.

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Frequently Asked Questions

More information about Intestacy Claims

Commonly asked questions concerning intestacy and partial intestacy claims

One of the key problems with intestacy is that the deceased has little control over who receives a legacy from their estate. There are also no allowances for charities or friends within intestacy legislation.

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Partial intestacy can occur for a number of reasons. The deceased may have tried to hide wealth from loved ones or written the will before they accrued the assets in question. Some people may simply have forgotten to include parts of their estate or been unaware they had ownership.

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There are three scenarios that could arise when the deceased has multiple legally defined spouses, as well as how the estate is distributed in each situation.

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The formula for distributing the estate can be quite complicated depending on the deceased’s previous marital relationships and number of children.

Typically, if someone is married at the time of their death – whether they have children with that person or not – the spouse receives the entirety of the estate.

If there are multiple spouses or the deceased has children from a previous relationship, the estate is shared to varying degrees between surviving partners and children.

In situations where the deceased has no spouses or children, the estate is left to, in descending order, the individual’s:

  • Parents;
  • Siblings;
  • Grandparents;
  • Aunts and uncles; and
  • First cousins.

As a result of the intestacy formulas, asset distribution can be heavily unfair as assets are distributed according to the legal rules, not your loved one’s wishes. In response, it is important to seek expert legal advice if a loved one died intestate. A contesting a will lawyer can help you understand just what you are entitled to under intestacy rules and what actions you can take to address your grievances.

 

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This is unlike other law firms who often run compensation claims in a mechanical way. At Gerard Malouf & Partners, our compensation claims services handle each claim thoroughly and comprehensively prepare it in every aspect.

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