I don’t have a Will as my wife gets the lot

Mythbuster Scenario 1: A man buys a house. He meets a woman; they fall in love and she moves in. They marry and have children. He has a car accident and dies without a Will. The government decides what happens to his assets. His wife will be entitled to household items and the first $50,000. Of the rest (which includes the house), she is entitled to 1/3rd and their children are entitled to 2/3rds. This means his wife could lose their home.

Mythbuster Scenario 2: Most couples own their homes jointly. Say the man is a teacher and has super and life insurance with GESB Super. He has a car accident and dies without a Will. The house will be transferred to his wife and she will own it entirely. But say there is a big mortgage on the house. His wife will be entitled to household items and the first $50,000. Of the rest (which includes his super and life insurance), she is entitled to 1/3rd and their children are entitled to 2/3rds. 1/3rd of his super and life insurance may not be enough to pay off the mortgage. The wife may not be earning enough to pay the balance of the mortgage on her own. Again, this means his wife could lose their home.

With a Will, the man could direct that all of his assets be given to his wife. This way his wife can keep their home and all of his super and life insurance. There is a proposed change to the law to increase the $50,000 amount, but as at April 2021, this is still a proposal.

The above applies to both heterosexual and same sex marriages.

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The Law Has Changed

An update has occurred to Western Australian Law changing what happens if someone dies without a will.

These changes came into effect after March 30th 2022.

Learn about these changes by clicking the button below.