Fair Share: When Your Parents Die Without a Last Will


familyUnless they are terminally ill or too old, you really can’t prepare for the death of your parents and ask them to write their last will. The law defines “dying intestate” as the event when people die without a legal document that states how they want to divide and distribute their estate.

The practitioners from Dixie Ann Middleton & Associates say that a will is important to have matters organised for you and other beneficiaries. In case your departed parents don’t have one, the state decides which property goes to whom.

If only one parent died, the state entitles the spouse to half of the property if they have a child. If you have one or more siblings, your living parent gets only one-third of the properties.

When distributing the properties to you and other beneficiaries, the state implements an order of division. First on the list are you and your siblings; if a sibling is already deceased, then their children (if any) get the share. Your grandparents, uncles and aunts (and their children), other relatives and the local state of your parents’ residence are next on the list, in that order.

Who Administers

Queensland laws state that the Intestacy Rules take effect upon the death of your parents. The court appoints an Administrator to manage the distribution of their assets and assist you in the matters left by the deceased parents. Their duties include paying debts, finalising tax issues and collecting assets.

As a next of kin, you can request the Public Trustee of Queensland to act as Administrator. This council also assists private Administrators in applying for and securing Letters of Administration.

A Few Drawbacks

The Intestacy Rules may present a few disadvantages, though. The distribution of assets and properties under this process doesn’t suit everyone. Moreover, you can’t choose the executor of the distribution procedure and you may have to pay more.

You can’t do anything about your parents’ death. But you can help your spouse, children and relatives by writing your last will. This way, they don’t have to go through the same hassle of asset distribution.


  1. Writing your Last Will as early in your 50s is better than not writing anything at all. Besides, you can always revise it. Just make sure that you put every detail on the document and be as specific to avoid difficulties, errors and discrepancies when executing your Will.

  2. I’m privileged enough not to suffer the complications of asking for our fair share even though we’re the children from the previous marriage. My father clearly stated in his will our share on his assets. Lesson? Write your wills. It’s best for your children.

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