Government Warned: Prepare Will Before You Travel Abroad

According to a news report from 9news on 18 March 2020, the Australian Federal Government recently announced a level 4 travel ban worldwide, which is the first time in Australian history. The report also stated that a warning has been issued on the government website: “Understand that you could die. Make sure you have an up-to-date will, an enduring power of attorney. Designate appropriate insurance beneficiaries.” 
Thus, our topic today is: 
In Victoria, if you do not have a will, how will your property be distributed after passing away?
In China, the deceased’s partner, children and parents are in the first priority of inheritance order. However, the Australian inheritance law is extremely biased towards partners, reflecting the recognition of the Western legal system as to the importance of partner to the family.According to Victoria ’s new inheritance law, if the deceased does not make a will, the distribution of the deceased’s estate will be dealt in accordance with the Administration and Probate Act 1958 (Vic). In November 2017, the Victorian inheritance law underwent considerable reforms to adapt to the changes of the times. The following is a detailed explanation of the priority order and distribution ratio of inheritance in the case of intestacy: 
If the deceased has a partner but no children
100% belongs to partner
If the deceased has a partner and child/ren of that relationship 
100% belongs to partner
If the deceased has a partner and child/ren who is/are not the child/ren of the partner 
The partner takes the first $451,909 plus interest on this amount from date of death to payment plus the personal chattels plus 50% of the balance of the estate;The child/ren takes 50% of the balance of the estate in equal shares 
If the deceased has no partner but has child/ren
Equally between children
 If the deceased has no partner or child, but has parents
Equally between parents
If the deceased has no partner or child or parent, but has siblings
Equally between siblings

The next priority is the grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins.Before the reform of the Victorian inheritance law, the right of inheritance was extended to farther distant relatives, but from November 2017, the new inheritance law provides that if none of the above-mentioned heirs exist or findable, then the deceased’s estate will pass to the state government.

Possible risks without a will
Intestacy may cause some unexpected issues, such as:
You are not able to allocate your property according to your own wishes;
Some of your personal or real property that need to be managed may not be managed by the designated person or in a way according to your own wishes;
It may be controversial as to how real estate can be divided equally;
You are not able to eliminate the tax problems caused by property distribution in advance;
You are not able to designate your child/ren’s guardian;
Administrative execution costs for managing and distributing property may be a huge amount;
The legal definition of “family” may be different from your own understanding, which may lead to argument.
If you are not satisfied with Victoria’s inheritance law, the only way is to make a will or establish a family trust as soon as possible. If you have any questions regarding this area of law, please feel free to contact us. 
Due to frequent changes in Australian laws, it is emphasized that you should not rely on this article alone to make decisions. Specific legal policies should refer to the local validity at the time. This article is for general information only and does not apply to readers ’cases. Readers should not rely on the information in this article to make any legal decisions without consulting any Australian legal Practitioner. Fumens Lawyers hereby declares that the readers who refer to this article do not constitute a client relationship, so Fumens Lawyers is also not responsible for any loss caused by reliance on this article.



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