What happens if I die without a Will?

Losing someone you love is tough, and dealing with the legal stuff afterward can be confusing. If someone passes away without a Will, it can create additional challenges for their family.

When someone dies without a Will, it’s called “intestacy.” This means that the person hasn’t put a plan in place for how they want to gift their belongings and assets, if they’re a parent it means they haven’t nominated guardians for their kids, and any strategies that might have minimised tax or helped loved ones with special needs are now out of reach.

Here’s what could happen if there’s no Will:


  • Belongings and assets are distributed under a “one size fits all” formula under the Queensland succession law.
  • If the person who passed away has a spouse or kids, the things they owned will likely be shared among them. How much each person gets depends on the value of the assets and how many spouses and kids there are.
  • If there’s no spouse or kids, other family members, like parents, brothers, sisters, will likely share the assets and belongings based on the set formula.
  • The people who will receive any share in the estate is based on a set order.

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  • In a Will, you nominate someone to be in charge of your estate after your death.
  • Without a Will, there is no person nominated to be in charge of the estate.
  • When a person dies without a Will there is a list of people who have priority to be in charge of the estate. That list is set out in Queensland succession law.
  • A person on that list may apply to the Court to be in charge of the estate. It is up to the Court whether they appoint that person or someone else to be in charge of the estate.


  • Not having a Will can sometimes cause fights between family members about what the deceased person wanted or intended for their assets or other aspects of their estate.
  • This can cause delays. It can also come at both an emotional and financial cost to resolve the arguments.


  • When there’s no Will, your wishes, like who gets special sentimental items, where your money should go, or how your kids are looked after, might not be followed.
  • A Will helps make sure your wishes are known and respected.

When there’s no Will it’s tough for the loved ones left behind. They are caught in set formulas and rules for how things must be handled, and they are often making their best guess as to how their deceased loved one may have wanted things handled.

To avoid these complications, it’s a good idea to plan ahead by making a Will. A Will is like a map for your things after you’re gone. It makes sure your wishes are clear and legally followed.

As estate planning professionals, we’re here to guide and support you through this process, helping you make informed decisions and secure the future for your loved ones. Take the first step by tapping on “Request a Booking” to chat with an experienced estate plan professional.

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The Complete Estate Plan Guidebook is for you if you want to:

  • take the overwhelm out of estate planning
  • know what documents you need to protect yourself and your loved ones
  • appoint the best suited people to control positions
  • step-by-step guide to sort your estate plan

The Complete Testamentary Guardian Workbook is for you if you want to:

  • protect your children’s future
  • know the what, who, and why of testamentary guardians
  • questionnaire included to find the best match for your family
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