What Happens if I Die Without a Will?

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Home > Blog > What Happens if I Die Without a Will?

Have you ever wondered what would happen to your belongings if you died without a valid Will?  Believe it or not, many Australians die each year without a Will.  In this case, the relevant Act in your state sets out how your belongings will be distributed.  In rare cases this can mean that your estate will go to the State and not to your loved ones.If you want control over what happens to your belongings after you die, make it a priority to have your Will prepared.It is always best to have your Will prepared by an experienced Lawyer.At Cairns Wills and Estate Lawyers, we can offer expert advice and make sure that your Will is prepared correctly.This is the best way to ensure your wishes are fulfilled after you die and your loved ones will receive the financial benefit from all of your hard work.


Under Queensland Law, if you don’t have a valid Will at the time of your death, you are regarded as “intestate”, and your estate gets distributed following a formula set out in the Succession ACT (QLD). In some cases, your financial assets can end up with the State, and not with your loved ones.

In Queensland, the intestacy rules will distribute your estate to the closest next of kin to the deceased.  The order of distribution would be as follows:

  1. spouse and children
  2. parents
  3. siblings
  4. nephews and nieces
  5. grandparents
  6. uncles and aunts
  7. first cousins
  8. the State

Below are a few scenarios that will show what can happen to your estate if you die without a valid Will.

If you have a spouse

If you have no children, your spouse will receive your entire estate. If you have one child, your spouse will receive the first $150,000.00 and then whatever is left will be divided in half, with equal shares going to your spouse and child. In the case where you have more than one child, your spouse will receive the first $150,000.00 and one-third of whatever is left. Your children will split the remaining two-thirds between them.

If you are single

If you have children, they will split everything equally between them. If you have no children, your parents will receive your entire estate.If you have no children and your parents have already passed away, your next of kin will receive equal shares of your estate.

If you have no family

The State will receive your entire estate. 

Cairns Wills and Estate Lawyers

If you don’t have a valid Will, make it a priority to get one done.  Our experienced Lawyers can offer expert legal and advice and make sure that your Will is done correctly. Writing a valid Will is actually more complex that just writing out your wishes and having the document witnessed. Even completing an online Will kit does not guarantee that your Will is valid, or protect it from being challenged.  Making a Will on your own without legal advice can lead to unwanted financial complications and costs that your family and loved ones will have to deal with. The costs of having your Will prepared by one of our Lawyers is a relatively inexpensive and quick process, compared to the costs that could be left to your family and loved ones should problems arise.Don’t put it off, contact us today.

Cairns Wills and Estate Lawyers

1/15 Spence St, Cairns City QLD 4870

4052 0700