"Everything goes to the State"
You have probably heard people say that if someone dies without leaving a Will, "everything goes to the State".
It is true that no-one can get Probate if there is no Will, but assets still go to the next of kin - not "The State".
There is an order in which the next-of-kin can inherit. It varies between States, but in Victoria:
- A spouse (or "domestic partner") has the first right, and if there is no spouse
- then children, and if there are no children
- then parents, and if there are none of them
- then brothers and sisters, etc.
The next-of-kin (in the same order) can't apply for probate. Instead - they apply a certificate called "Letters of Administration".
The Letters of Administration certificate looks almost the same as a Probate certificate, and the application process is also the same. You use it the same way to authorise the release of assets to you.
Assets go to the next-of-kin according to a formula set by legislation. In Victoria the spouse/partner takes the whole estate.
If there is one partner and children of a different relationship, the estate is divided between the partner and the children according to a formula. That formula may not suit you, so if you want control of the distribution of your estate
"JUST DO IT - MAKE A WILL".
(Our WILL KIT shows you how to do the vital stuff - name executor(s) & beneficiaries).
If you have a Will but no Executor
If you have a Will but there are no surviving executors, someone has to take the place of the executor - and that is usually a beneficiary under the Will.
If there are no surviving beneficiaries then the next of kin can apply. They apply for a special type of certificate ("grant") called Letters of Administration "with the Will annexed" (often called Letters "CTA").
You cannot use our Probate Kit for Letters of Administration applications.