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Changes to the laws of intestacy in Western Australia

Western Australia’s laws relating to how property is distributed amongst family members after the death of a person who did not have a Will have finally been overhauled.

The updated laws increase the payment to a surviving spouse or partner from $50,000 to $472,000 if the deceased dies leaving direct descendants, such as children or grandchildren. If the deceased dies leaving a surviving spouse or partner but no direct descendants, the amount is increased from $75,000 to $705,000. A surviving partner includes a de-facto partner or same-sex partner.

A formula for calculating the amount of the statutory legacies into the future has been included in the legislation, requiring the amount to be reviewed every two years.

These changes apply to the estate of any person who dies intestate on or after 30 March 2022.

For advice in relation to an intestate estate, please contact us.

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Our plain-English guide How to manage a deceased estate has practical advice to help you to take charge and finalise the estate.