The first common misconception
Below is a transcript of Lauren Farrelly’s interview with Aaron Stevens of 990 4RO from August 2016.
In this interview Lauren talks about the first common misconception many people have about dying without a Will in Queensland.
That’s right, that’s one of the biggest ones that we hear. You know, the government will swoop in and organise everything and potentially take the assets as well. That is not generally the case, so if you’ve got family that are living, there are some rules or a hierarchy of individuals who can step up and take the role of what we call the administrator of the estate.
So it’s a position that’s quite similar to the executor except it is a position provided by law instead of by a Will. So, the general rule is that the hierarchy starts with your spouse, so if you’re married your husband or wife, or if you have a defacto partner and you have been living together for at least 2 years prior to death, then they can take that role up.
If you haven’t got a spouse then it might be kids if they are over 18, or if they are under 18 someone might do it on their behalf. If you don’t have anyone that falls within those categories then the list then goes on to parents, siblings and down the line.
So in Queensland, really the only time that the government will step in to administer an estate is if you have no family at all who are able to do it, or if you’ve got no family who are willing to do it.
The case is again that if you do happen to pass without a will then that person who is appointed the administrator is not necessarily going to do what you would have preferred to do.
Well they’re always bound by the intestacy rules but there are a lot of things outside of “who gets what” that can be dealt with in a will.
So it’s things like you don’t get the choice about who will act as guardians for your children potentially, your administrator is in charge of dealing with your funeral and decisions about burial or cremation.
So there’s a lot of really personal decisions that you might have someone in mind who you know would make decisions that you’d be comfortable with, but they might not come far enough up the hierarchy I suppose to be able to step up and make those calls for you.
Hence the importance to make a Will and appoint an executor.
Absolutely, it gives you the ability to make all of those choices rather than relying on some rules out there that would apply otherwise.
Alright, for more advice, what do we do?
Give me a call at Rees Jones on 4927 6333.