No Will?

"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:

  1. A spouse (or "domestic partner") has the first right, and if there is no spouse
  2. then children, and if there are no children
  3. then parents, and if there are none of them
  4. 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 a surviving 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


(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.

NEXT: How to order our Probate Kit