Estate Planning by Sharyn Clarke

Business Services

Thank you to our guest author Sharyn Clarke for writing the following blog concerning estate planning. Sharyn is the director of Lark lawyers and we highly recommend her services.

Below is a snap shot of a few common scenarios that may apply to a client when they die and do not have a Will or valid Will in place. I note that this is a summary and the precise distribution may change slightly.  There are also additional provisions that deal with different scenarios from those outlined below. You can send the applicable scenario which suits the circumstances of the client.

If a client does not already have a current Will in place or that Will does not cater for their current circumstances it is important to put one in place.

Where a person fails to have a valid Will in place then that person is classified to have died “intestate” and their assets must be distrusted in accordance with the Administration Act 1903 (WA).

Where the deceased leaves a spouse and children the following distribution will apply:

  1. The surviving spouse will receive:
    1. all the household chattels;
    2. the first $75,000 in assets of the deceased’s estate; and
    3. one third of the remaining assets in the deceased’s estate.
  2. The children of the deceased will receive the remaining two thirds of the assets in the estate.

Where the deceased leaves a spouse and no children the following distribution will apply:

  1. The surviving spouse will receive:
    1. all the household chattels;
    2. the first $75,000 in assets of the deceased’s estate; and
    3. one half of the remaining assets in the deceased’s estate.
  2. Where the deceased has a surviving parent(s) but no siblings, nieces or nephews:
    1. the parent(s) will be entitled to receive (in equal shares where both survive the deceased) the remaining half.
  3. Where the deceased has a surviving parent(s) and siblings, nieces or nephews:
    1. the parent(s) will be entitled to receive (in equal shares where both survive the deceased):
  1. $6,000;
  2. one-half of the remaining half; and
    1. the brothers and sisters of the deceased and the children of deceased brothers and sisters of the deceased shall be entitled to receive the other half.
  1. Where the deceased has no surviving parent(s) the brothers and sisters of the deceased and the children of deceased brothers and sisters of the deceased shall be entitled to the whole of the remaining half of the deceased’s estate.

Where the deceased leaves a spouse but no children, parents, brothers, sisters, nieces or nephews:

  1. The spouse receives the whole of the estate of the deceased.

Any property held as joint tenants falls outside of the assets of an estate and goes to the surviving joint tenant.

If it does not suit your clients to have their assets distributed in accordance with the Administration Act then it is important to have a Will in place that suits your needs.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or require any further information or assistance.

Sharyn Clarke
Director

Lark Lawyers