Deceased Estates

The death of a loved one is a tragic and devastating time for family and friends. Don’t let the legal formalities add more stress to your life. At DCM Lawyers our experienced Estates lawyers can help you through the process to ensure you feel empowered and stress-free.

What happens if a loved one dies without a Will?

If a close friend or family member has passed away without leaving a Will, then someone will usually need to apply for a grant of ‘Letters of Administration’ on their behalf. This involves an application to the Supreme Court of Victoria for the appointment of an administrator of their estate. This process can be daunting but with proper legal advice the formalities will largely be handled by your lawyer.

Who gets the assets if there is no Will?

In Victoria there are certain categories of people who are entitled to inherit property in the event that a relative dies without a Will. This hierarchy is as follows:

  • Partners and children;
  • Parents;
  • Siblings;
  • Grandparents;
  • Nieces and nephews;
  • First cousins, great-nieces and nephews; great-aunts and uncles; great-great grandparents.

What if I’m not satisfied with the provisions of the Will?

If you’ve been left out of the Will, or you think you should have received more in the Will, then you may be able to make a claim to receive an additional part of the estate. These claims are often referred to by lawyers as ‘Part Four claims’, because the provisions for making such a claim are found in Part 4 of the Administration and Probate Act. If you’re considering making a claim then you should obtain legal advice to ensure you’re aware of the requirements and the likelihood of success.