In last weeks article I explained that, Intestacy occurs when a person dies without a valid Will, and such a person is said to die Intestate. It’s important to understand what happens to an Intestate Estate based on the Succession Act 2006 NSW (“The Act”).

The following list is an easy way to see how the Intestate’s Estate is distributed in New South Wales and the specific order and priority:

Living Relatives Entitlement
1. Spouse and no children, or Children of the Spouse The Spouse is entitled to 100% of the Intestate Estate
2. Spouse and Children from another relationship

The Spouse is entitled to:

  1. The Intestates personal effects;
  2. A legacy of $350,000.00 adjusted by the CPI and
Half of the remainder (if any) of the Intestate Estate.
3. Multiple Spouses and no children or children not of the surviving spouse

The Intestate Estate is shared between the multiple Spouses per:

  1. Written agreement between them;
  2. In accordance with a Court Order; or 
  3. Equally. 
4. Children only The children are entitled to 100% of the Intestates Estates in equal shares.
5. Parents of the Intestate The surviving parents are entitled to 100% of the Intestate Estate, equally.
6. Brothers & sisters of the Intestate (“siblings”) The siblings of the Intestate are entitled to 100% of the Intestate Estate equally, if a sibling has died before the Intestate leaving children then those children receive their deceased parent’s share equally.
7. Grandparents of the Intestate  The Grandparents entitlement is the same as the parents of the Intestate.
8. Aunts & Uncles of the Intestate The surviving aunts and uncles are entitled to 100% of the Intestate Estate equally.
9. The State Government In the event all the above do not survive the Intestate, then the State Government receives 100% of the Intestate Estate

The above list is specific and does not allow any room for deviation or leaving a particular item to a special love one. This is one reason why you should have a professionally drafted Will.The Act also provides for the distribution if an Indigenous person’s Estate based on Indigenous laws and customs, traditions and practices of the Indigenous person’s community.

As always, the answers provided are for your general information only and we ask you to call our office on 1800 650 656 to obtain detailed legal advice for your individual situation.

Peter McManus | Wills and Estate Planning Solicitor