Intestacy is where a person dies without having a valid Will in place.

When a person dies without a valid Will, an application for a Grant of Letters of Administration needs to be made to the Supreme Court. The grant is often made in favour of the next of kin (eg spouse, domestic partner or child/ren).

A domestic partnership is where 2 people (be them heterosexual or same-sex) who are not married, live together or have lived together as a couple on a genuine domestic basis. The couple must have lived together, or have a child together, before a partner can benefit from a deceased estate where there is no Will.

Under the laws of intestacy, if the deceased had no partner or children at the time of death, then their estate will go to:

  1. parents
  2. then siblings
  3. then grandparents
  4. then uncles & aunts
  5. then cousins.

The deceased’s estate will not go to the government unless there are no living relatives and all avenues to locate living relatives have been exhausted.

The best way to ensure that your estate is distributed they way you want, is to make a valid Will.