When there is no will
Dying without a will is called dying intestate. Find out how your estate is managed and distributed if you die without a will.
Managing an estate with no will
If you die without a will you don’t have any say about how your estate is distributed. This is called dying intestate.
In this situation, your affairs may be managed by a NSW Supreme Court order under Letters of Administration. This could be:
- the person with the largest share in the estate
- multiple people if the court considers that appropriate
- NSW Trustee & Guardian in certain circumstances
- any person the court thinks is suitable.
If disputes occur, the process can take time and be costly, both in financial and emotional terms.
Distributing an estate with no will
When there is no will, certain family members and next of kin generally receive a defined amount or proportion of your assets according to a set formula. Additionally:
- if you're in a defacto relationship, it's necessary to supply sworn evidence that the relationship existed
- intestacy (dying without a will) rules differ depending on whether you have children from a previous relationship or whether you only have children from your spouse at your death.
If your only living relatives are more distant than first cousins, your estate could pass to the government.
End of Life Planner
An interactive guide to help you prepare for end of life tasks and documents before you meet with a professional advisor. This includes will preparation, Enduring Power of Attorney, Enduring Guardianship, funeral wishes and more.
You will need to log in to your MyServiceNSW Account to use the planner.
We're now directing you to log in to the Life Administrator – End of Life Planner. You'll need a MyServiceNSW Account to continue.
Why should I log in?
By logging in you're able to:
- start the planning process
- update and save your information whenever circumstances change
- find ways to get professional advice if you need it.