There is legislation in place to protect people who die and have no Will. Part 3A of The Administration and Probate Act 1919 (SA) (“the Act”) sets out the rules of intestacy which dictate how a deceased estate will be distributed when that person does not have a Will.
Most of us agree that even though you don’t have to have a Will it is often best to have one anyway. But some people believe a Will may not be necessary when your wishes mirror the rules of intestacy.
There are many reasons why you would want a Will, but s.65 of the Act is an important one.
Under s.65, if any estate property is not distributed within 6 months of Letters of Administration, it must be handed over to the Public Trustee for administration. The Public Trustee must also act as administrator, after 6 months, for any inheritance for someone under the age of 18 years or with a mental disability.
What is the downside of the Public Trustee? The biggest one is the cost. The estate will incur expenses that it might not have otherwise had to. It also means your family, who you would have trusted as administrator, no longer have control.
If your estate involves selling assets such as real property (land) it is probable that it will take longer than 6 months to finalise.
It’s also important to make sure you review your Will every 3 years, when you buy or sell an asset, enter or leave a major relationship or your family situation changes.
Tasman, and many of our other experienced solicitors across Adelaide, Whyalla and Millicent, can assist you in creating or updating a Will to ensure your wishes are followed. Make an appointment today.