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  • Writer's pictureMelanie Palmer

No Will! What do I do?

If someone dies without a valid will in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, their estate will be distributed according to the laws of intestacy. Intestacy refers to the situation where a person dies without leaving a will or their will is deemed invalid.

The distribution of assets in intestacy is governed by the Succession Act 2006 (NSW). Here are some key points about intestate succession in NSW:

  1. Spouse and children: If the deceased person had a spouse (married or de facto) and no children, the entire estate will generally pass to the surviving spouse. If there are children, the spouse will receive a statutory legacy (a fixed sum) plus the personal effects, and the remaining estate will be divided between the spouse and the children.

  2. No spouse or children: If there is no surviving spouse or children, the estate may pass to other family members, such as parents, siblings, or more distant relatives, depending on the specific circumstances. The order of distribution is determined by the legislation.

  3. No close relatives: If no close relatives can be identified, the estate may escheat to the state government.

It is important to note that the laws of intestacy may not reflect the deceased person's wishes, and the distribution may not align with what they would have wanted. To ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes, it is highly recommended to create a valid will and regularly review and update it as necessary.


If you find yourself in a situation where someone has died without a will, it is advisable to consult with a solicitor or a legal professional who specializes in estate matters. Palmer Legal guide you through the intestacy process and assist in handling the distribution of the deceased person's estate in accordance with the relevant laws. Contact us now to see how we can help.

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