The majority of people are aware that whilst wills are important to make or update, due to their busy life people often do not make it a priority.
Do I need a will, even if I am young?
The minimum age requirement for a will is 18 years of age. The do not necessarily need to be made by the elderly.
Can I prepare my own will?
Wills can be complex there are certain formalities that need to be adhered to when preparing a will. This may mean that preparing a will on your own this may be overlooked and therefore may cause issues once the will is administered.
What happens if I die without a will?
Someone who dies without leaving a Will is called an “intestate”. This means that the division of assets cannot be distributed until an estate administrator is appointed.
Before an estate administrator is appointed by the court a Grant of Administration will need to be applied. The Administration and Probate Act 1958 (Vic) sets out the law surrounding intestacy. The Act contains a formula which sets out how the estate of the deceased will be distributed.
How is the estate divided?
Firstly, once a estate administrator is appointed, their first point of business will be to make sure that the debts are paid first. These may include, funeral expenses, taxes, loans or mortgages, legal fees and any other expense.
Division of Assets
Once the estate has paid the outstanding debts owed, the deceased’s assets can then be distributed to their dependants. It is important to note that there is a hierarchy that must be followed.
The hierarchy is as follows:
This hierarchy needs to be adhered to when a person dies intestate. It is also important to note that when it comes to inheritance, there is no distinction between biological children, adopted children or step children.
In order to ensure that your wishes are carried after your passing it is imperative to write a Will or adjust an existing one if circumstances have changed.