Yikes. Sometimes our brains go to extraordinarily dark places – but this isn’t always a bad thing. No matter how grim the scenario, it’s important to plan for everything, just in case.
What happens when a parent dies with a Will?
The estate will be distributed in accordance with the terms of their Will.
What happens when a parent dies without a will?
Depending on the law of the particular state or territory and whether the parent is a member of a blended family, their estate is typically inherited by their spouse, failing which it is inherited by their children.
So what happens when both parents die… together?
If the parents have Wills, their respective estates would be distributed in accordance with the terms of the Wills. If both parents die at the same time, the older of the two parents is deemed at law to have died first, so any joint assets would automatically form part of the younger parent’s estate rather than the estate of the older one.
The same can be said if the parents don’t have Wills and die at the same time - the law will consider that the older of the two parents died first. In such a case, depending on the law of the particular state or territory and whether the parent is a member of a blended family, their estate is typically inherited by their spouse, failing which it is inherited by their children.
What if one parent dies, and then the other one dies shortly after (but not at the same time)?
In most Australian jurisdictions, in order to inherit from an estate beneficiaries must survive a Willmaker by 30 days, unless the Will provides for a different period of survival and/or contains a contrary intention. This means that if a beneficiary (say, the spouse or child of the person who has died) dies less than 30 days after the deceased, they won’t actually inherit any of the deceased’s estate
Family matters can be complex, especially when it comes to Will-writing, inheritance, and the distribution of assets.
If you want to ensure everyone and everything is accounted for in the event of your and/or your spouse’s passing, we’d recommend writing your legal Will today.
Disclaimer: The content of this blog is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. This blog should not be relied upon as legal or financial advice.