When there is no will (intestacy)

When someone dies without a will, they die intestate. A grant of letters of administration is required instead of a grant of probate.

In order to determine who may obtain letters of administration (and be appointed the formal legal representative of the estate), it is important to determine who is entitled to the estate.

The Law sets out the class of beneficiaries. The Court requires someone who has an interest in the Estate to apply for the grant of letters of administration.

The class of beneficiaries is “all or nothing”. If there is someone in the category, then that person(s) are the beneficiaries. If there is no one in any of the categories, then it may go to the State or someone else under special circumstances.

Categories of beneficiaries (NSW)

  • Spouse (married, de facto or former)
  • Spouse and children from another relationship
  • children
  • parents
  • brothers and sisters (including nieces & nephews of deceased brothers & sisters)
  • grandparents
  • aunts & uncles