What happens if I don't write a Will?

Oct. 24, 2018, 2:21 p.m.

There are some situations in life where we may wonder “what if?” As we celebrate the launch of our online Will service, we thought we’d show you exactly what could happen if you don’t have a will for certain scenarios in life…


I died and didn’t leave a will

Your time is finally up, you’ve met your maker, you’ve passed on. Your family and friends have grieved over you...a few months have gone by and the subject comes down to your Will. What happens to your house? Who will look after your pets? Who gets to cherish your photo albums? You didn’t make out a Will so the law decides who gets what...and how much. This is called ‘dying intestate’ and isn’t exactly the most ideal scenario. Family members may fall out over who gets what - family disputes over inheritance are actually on the rise.


Make sure your family avoids a fall-out and create a Will. You should also let everyone know who will inherit what and how much, outline who the executor will be. This can be a person of your choosing - so make sure you do actually give yourself a say on who it is.


My funeral wishes aren’t expressed in my will

You wanted everyone to wear colourful clothes for your funeral and you wanted My Way by Frank Sinatra played while your coffin rolled behind the curtain. But nobody knew anything about your wishes. Instead, they’re playing a song that you’ve never heard of and they’re all wearing traditional black. What a disaster!


If you had a Will you could have expressed your specific wishes for not only your funeral but which undertaker you’d like to use, the option between cremation or burial, where you want your ashes scattered, the music you’d like at your funeral, how you’d want people to celebrate your life at your wake...and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.


I’ve received an unexpected windfall

You’ve done it - you’ve finally won the lottery or a big cash prize or even inherited a big sum of money yourself. With big money comes big responsibility. The problem is you forgot to make out a Will for your newfound fortune.


You may have already included your house and other assets or finance, but it’s a good idea to specifically include how you’d like to share your finances among your loved ones.


I don’t really have any close friends or relatives

The situation might arise where you might not have anyone to leave your assets to. This might be because you didn’t have children, your partner died before you, you’re an only child or your friends have passed away. Regardless of the reasons, if this is the case then your estate will belong to the government or to the Crown. This is called ‘bona vacantia.’ Conversely, if you think you could be a secret heir then check the regularly updated list of unclaimed estates.


Do you want to help save animals? Or how about helping out the homeless? You’ll need to leave a gift in your Will if you’d like to donate to charity - make sure your chosen charities don’t miss out.

Don’t leave it to chance - create a Will with huunuu Legal today…

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