When you die without a Will (intestate) in Queensland, it is the Succession Act which directs who is entitled to what you own. In many cases, this provides for an outcome that will not remotely reflect what you intended to happen with your estate. Take for instance the story of Louise. Married in her younger years whilst following the hippy trail, Louise lived happily with Bill for several years before they drifted apart and eventually went their separate ways. They never undertook a property settlement and neither ever had a reason to formally divorce. They had no children together. Although Bill re-partnered, Louise never did. She also never had children. Louise had two siblings and nieces and nephews all of whom she had close relationships with. Louise owned some valuable antiques and a house. She had inherited the house from her Mother.
Since going their separate ways Louise and Bill had nothing at all to do with each other. Forty years had passed and sadly Louise became very ill. Although she intended to see a Solicitor and make a Will, she died before that happened. Louise had always told her siblings they would get everything she had. She often joked with them about how they could argue amongst themselves about who would take what. Neither Louise nor her siblings had any appreciation for the effect of the Succession Act in these circumstances. You see, Bill suddenly appeared just before Louise died. Upon her death, as Louise was still married to Bill and as she had no Will, it was Bill who was entitled to the significant portion of Louise’s estate. It was never Louise’s wish that Bill would receive anything from her estate, but he received everything. Louise’s siblings, her only family, received nothing. There was simply nothing they could do.
Don’t let this be you. Make sure you have a Will which reflects your wishes.