What happens if a person dies without a Will?
When a person passes away without a Will, that person’s assets are distributed according to the laws of the state and not according to their wishes. Kindly note that each state has different laws, but it would create a hassle for the surviving members of the family to apply for a Letter of Administration as there is no Will. There would be immense hassle that the surviving members will have to incur in order to establish their relationship, interest in the Estate and what proportion of the Estate should in fact be distributed to them. This would be left to the decision of the Court, and your Estate will not be distributed according to your wishes. Hence, we would strongly recommend that everyone has a Will prepared so that their hard-earned money can in fact be distributed to their loved ones in the manner in which they wish for their Estate to be distributed.
What is a Probate?
If you have a Will, when you pass away, your Executor will proceed to register your Will with the Supreme Court (depending on the amount of assets of your Estate that is being considered), and the Executor will proceed to lodge with the Supreme Court in their state, requesting a Probate to be granted. Once the Probate is obtained, the Executor can proceed to have the Estate distributed according to your wishes.
What is a Codicil?
A Codicil is in essence an Addendum added to your last Will without your entire Will having to be redrafted in a situation where you only want an additional wish, requirement or instruction to be added on.
What is a Power of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney is a legally enforceable document in which you can authorise another person (persons) to act on your behalf in an event that you are unable to do so. This can be generic or specifically relating to one particular act. For example, you can authorise an Attorney to act on your behalf for a Conveyancing matter if you are travelling overseas.
If you wish to discuss about a Will, Letters of Administration, Probate or a Power of Attorney, please do not hesitate to contact our offices to discuss the same on 8917 8700.