Why do I really need a Will? What happens if I die without a Will?
If you die without a Will, your estate will be distributed according to the Distribution Act 1958. The distribution of the estate is as shown in the table below:
|Distribution according to the Distribution Act||Spouse||Children||Your Parents|
|Only Spouse, no children and no parents||Whole Estate||–||–|
|Spouse and parents or parents, no children||1/2||–||1/2|
|Only Children, no spouse and no parents||–||–||–|
|Only parent or parents, no spouse and no children||–||–||Whole Estate|
|Spouse and children, no parents||1/3||2/3||–|
|Children and parents, no spouse||–||2/3||1/3|
|Spouse, children and parents||1/4||1/2||1/4|
What happens if a person dies without a spouse or any children and both parents are gone?
The estate will then be distributed in the following order :-
- First to the deceased brothers and sisters equally, but if no siblings survive, then,
- The surviving grandparents will inherit equally, but if none of the grandparents survive, then,
- The uncles and aunts will inherit in equal shares, but if no uncles and aunts survive, then,
- The surviving great grandparents will inherit equally, but if none of the great grandparents survive, then,
- The great grand uncles and great grand aunts will inherit equally.
What happens if a person dies without any next of kin? Only in such circumstances the whole estate will go to the government.
The Distribution Act is there to distribute your estate however, it does not provide for who will get certain specific items of your assets. This can lead to problem among your beneficiaries as they may not agree on who will get what property/assets. For example, you intend to give your youngest daughter a pair of your favourite diamond earrings but you did not state it in a Will. Conflict may arise if your eldest daughter strongly believes that the earrings are intended for her. As such, a Will helps to make sure that the specific assets will go to the intended person.
Another example that we can share with you is that you may want 100% of your estate to go to your children. However, if you do not have a Will stating your wishes and intention, your children will share your estate with your spouse and parents.
In conclusion, a Will gives you a general peace of mind and ensures a smooth transfer of property to your intended beneficiaries.
In short, a Will helps you to:
- minimise the risk of family disputes and potential stress to your loved ones
- ensure your loved ones inherit your hard earned estate
- specifying how your properties are to be distributed
- you get to control who gets what and how much
- help your beneficiaries to locate and determine the whole of your estate
- you get to appoint a trusted person to be the Executor of your Will.
Making a Will creates certainty and save your family from worry at a time of emotional distress. We are happy to talk to you at any time and to help tailor-made your Will. Call 014-9508667 or 016-4770087 to schedule a free consultation.