Rules of intestacyIf someone who ordinarily lives in NSW dies without a valid will, the rules of intestacy will very likely apply to their deceased estate. The rules of intestacy in NSW can be found in Chapter 4 of the Succession Act (NSW) 2006. They provide a framework and formulas to allow a person’s estate to be divided and distributed to beneficiaries in the absence of a will which would ordinarily set out a person’s last wishes. Intestate estates and their administrators often face additional evidentiary hurdles and costs proving certain matters to the Court which might, at face value, seem very straight forward. For example, when a person dies, and the Court is satisfied the person did not ever make a valid will and the estate is, in fact, intestate, many further questions are raised including:
- Who should be responsible for administering the estate, and can therefore make an application for Letters of Administration?
- Who was survived by the deceased that may be entitled to receive a benefit under the rules of intestacy?
- How can proof be provided that the deceased either had, or did not have, a spouse or de facto spouse?
- How can proof be provided that the deceased either had, or did not have children?