What happens if I die without a will

At Super-Advice we are about all things financial, but more importantly, helping people understand so they can get ahead financially.

Dying without a will in New Zealand, as in many other countries, can lead to several undesirable outcomes. This situation is referred to as dying intestate. Here are five potential complications that can arise.

Distribution of your estate may not reflect your wishes

Without a will, your assets and possessions will be distributed according to the Administration Act 1969.

This law specifies a default formula for dividing up your stuff amongst your surviving relatives. This may not align with your personal preferences or your relationships.

Delays and additional costs

The process of administering an estate without a will can be more time-consuming and complicated than if a valid will were in place. This can lead to increased legal costs which are deducted from the estate, potentially leaving less for your beneficiaries.

Family disputes and lots of stress

Without clear directions from a will there is a higher risk of disputes among family members and other potential heirs who should inherit certain assets. Such conflicts can lead to strained relationships and may even result in costly legal battles.

Guardianship of minor children

If you have small kids and do not specify a guardian in your will, the court will decide who takes care of them. This decision may not align with your preferences or the best interests of your children, causing additional emotional stress for your family.

Complications for unmarried partners

Unmarried partners may not automatically inherit anything from your estate if you die without a will, regardless of the length or commitment level of your relationship. This can leave your partner in a precarious financial situation, especially if they were dependent upon you.

That’s a wrap

To avoid these complications, it’s advisable to make a will that clearly states your wishes regarding the distribution of your assets.

The guardianship of minor children and any other personal directives you may wish to leave behind.

If you need any financial help or advice please get in touch with us at Super-Advice.

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