In accordance with intestacy laws in most states in Australia, if a person dies without a will then the state distributes the assets of the deceased to the next of kin which in the descending order includes spouses/partners, children, parents, uncles/aunts. For example, spouse will be the first preference and if there is no spouse, children will inherit.
Everyone should have a will expressing clearly to the world their desires with regards to the distribution of their assets upon their death. Even if you don't have significant assets, you should have a will.
You can get free advice and assistance with drafting a will from qualified lawyers in local legal centres. Find your local legal centre by going to:
Joya, I agree with you. The court decides where your assets go should you pass on. Having a will is absolutely essential. Having a will is paramount if you have assets, like property, cash, shares and a business to name; and also if you're married. Regardless of your age and current health situation, each and every one of us should have a will.
I don't have a will, but mostly because I don't own anything significant that wouldn't automatically go where I want it. Eg. The house will automatically go to my partner, because of the way we purchased it.
Having said that, I should probably do one anyway, but have been too lazy!
YES! A will is not only about the distribution of your assets but also allows you to clearly state your intentions on big decision after you are gone- like guardianship for your minor children. For serious pet lovers, you can also address how your pets should be cared for when you are gone (see Pet Estate Planning for more information).