03 377 4421

Don’t be one of the around 1,500 people a year who die in New Zealand without a Will.

If you don’t have a Will then your assets may not pass to your family members, other individuals, or charities as you wish. If you die without a Will (known as dying “intestate”) then the Administration Act 1969 (the Act) specifies how your property will be distributed.

Typically, close family members are appointed to administer the Estate. The Act sets out the order of priority of family members. A deceased’s relative is entitled to apply in the following order:

 Spouse or Civil Union Partners
 Children
 Parents
 De facto Partner
 Uncles and Aunts.

An intestate estate is distributed depending on the person’s family structure and which family members survive them. For example, if you die intestate and you have a Partner and Children who survive you, your partner would receive

 All your personal chattels, including cars, furniture, and jewellery.
 A set amount prescribed by regulation 5 of the Administration (Prescribed Amounts)
Regulations 2009, which is currently $155,000; and
 One third of your remaining property.

The remaining two-thirds of your property would be distributed equally between your Children. If you have separated from your spouse but have not legally dissolved your marriage, your spouse will take priority over any de facto partner you have entered into a relationship with. If you do not have a partner but do have children, your estate would be equally split between your children. If you have no partner or no children, your estate would be distributed to your parents if they are alive, or to your siblings, if your parents are not alive.

If you die without a Will and do not have any surviving family members, your estate will go to the Crown and the Public Trust will administer the Estate.

To make sure you have your wishes noted, you need to have a valid Will. For more information about valid Wills or applying for letters of administration, contact Kannangara Thomson on 03 377 4421 to arrange a time to discuss your needs