If you do not have a will (“full intestacy”) or your will does not effectively dispose of your entire estate (“partial intestacy”), then the provisions of Part IA – Intestacy, of the Administration and Probate Act 1958 (Vic) (‘the legislation’) apply.

The legislation determines the distributions made from your estate depending on the partner(s), children or other classified family members who survive you for at least 30 days.

As the dynamics of a modern family differs between households, it is important to know how your estate may be divided if you die leaving either a full intestacy or partial intestacy.

The legislation will firstly consider whether you have a partner (spouse, domestic partner or registered caring partner) or partners, children to your partner or children from another relationship.

It is worth noting that:

  • If you have recently separated from your partner; however, you are not yet divorced and you die without a will, the partner you have separated from will benefit from your estate.
  • If you are entering a new relationship and have children from an earlier relationship, your new partner may receive the whole of your estate and your children could be left with nothing.
  • If no partner or child survives you, then the legislation considers classes of family members, listed in tiers, to benefit from your estate. In order the tiers are your partner, children, grandchildren, parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles and then the Government.

Therefore, with blended families being common, it is important a well thought out plan for your estate is considered.

A will is your opportunity to provide for your partner, children, extended family and others including friends and charities in the manner and proportions that you wish and intend.

A will allows you to control who benefits from your estate. Carew Counsel Solicitors can provide you information regarding the important considerations in preparing a Will and discuss the benefits of trust type wills that are often considered for tax effective distributions and protective for vulnerable or minor beneficiaries.

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