Virgo Funerals - incorporating South Burnett Funerals and Crematorium Pty Ltd
Serving the South Burnett with dignity since 1939
Related Topics
How To Cope With Grief
Death can take many people by surprise and very few of us are naturally good at dealing with it. Our tips will help you cope with grief (or help your family or friends to get through it).

Services And Wakes
Funeral services vary widely depending on the wishes of the departed and their family.
Our quick guide explains the main types of services and different options for wakes.

What Do I Do?
What you need to do when someone passes away depends on the circumstances that surrounded the death.
Our simple guide explains what these are likely to be and what happens in each of the four most common situations.

Our Coffin Range
Virgo Funerals stock a range of beautiful, modern coffins to suit all tastes and budgets. While we encourage you to visit us to make you final selection, you can also view them online
by clicking here.

Memorials & Plaques
If you'd like to erect a personal memorial or plaque to your loved one, we have an extensive range of memorials and plaques to suit all tastes and budgets. You can view them by clicking here.

Making Arrangements
What's involved in making funeral arrangements? Most people have very little experience with this and can find it confusing. But our handy guide explains the process clearly and simply.

What If I Don't Have A Will?
Wills are simple documents which outline how a person would like their assets disposed of after their death.

Wills are often prepared by solicitors, but these days many people also use inexpensive do-it-yourself kits that can be obtained through local newsagents or from several Australian companies over the Internet.

Preparing a will is something that's advisable to do at any stage in your life.

Most wills need to be revised from time to time in light of changing life circumstances. And about 94% of all Australians do both of these things.

But this page explains what will occur if you don't have a will:

What Happens To MyAssets?
  • If you die without making a valid will you leave in a state known as "intestacy". This legal term means that a person has died owning property greater than the sum of his or her enforceable debts and funeral expenses.
     
  • In cases of intestacy, assets are distributed according to a legal formula. This could mean that your assets might not end up with the people you would have chosen. It also means that you have no control over who distributes your assets.

 

What About Defactos And My Children?
  • A de facto spouse is a person who you treat as your partner but to whom you're not legally married. Each State has laws which set out the criteria for deciding whether a person is in a legal de facto relationship. Some of the issues that are usually considered include the length of the relationship and whether there are children. In some States, same-sex couples can also be considered de facto couples.
     
  • If you die without a valid will, your de facto spouse may not inherit any of your assets. This depends on the law in each State. This is another good reason why it's important to have a valid will.
     
  • However - as far as your children are concerned - they do not have to be born from a legal marriage to share in the distribution of your assets.

 

What's The Asset Distribution Formula?
  • The legal system generally takes a number of issues into account when calculating the appropriate distribution of an intestate's assets, including the net value of the estate that's available for distribution after the payment of enforceable debts and funeral expenses and whether there are surviving spouses (and in some circumstances de facto spouses) or next of kin.
     
  • The rules for distributing assets can be quite complex, but they're broadly based on the family that you've left behind. These rules can also vary slightly from one state to another. For example, in NSW the rules can be summarised as follows:
    • Assets are first distributed to your surviving husband/wife or de facto spouse and children. If there are no children, then the husband/wife or de facto inherits everything
    • If there are surviving children and a spouse/de facto, then there is a division between them according to a set sum with any excess divided equally between the children and the spouse/de facto
    • If there are children and no surviving spouse/de facto, then the children get equal shares of the estate. If any of the children has already died but has left children of their own (ie grandchildren of the deceased), then that child inherits their parents share
    • Assets are next distributed to any living next of kin (but only if there are no living children or spouses/children/grandchildren). If necessary, a search will be made to identify any living next of kin (including parents, siblings, half-siblings, grandparents, uncles and aunts and half-blood aunts and uncles)
    • Finally, if none of these apply then all remaining assets are passed to the Government

    Note: There are also special rules to do with the family home, which the spouse/de facto may inherit to the exclusion of any children.

 

What About Lost Wills?
  • Lost wills are more common than you may think - Government statistics reveal that around 6% of all people die intestate. And some of these had prepared a will, but it was unable to be found at the time of their death.
     
  • If you believe that a will exists, you should look very hard for it. This might include asking the bank and the deceased's solicitor and accountant (and perhaps one or more trusted friends of the deceased). It's also worth checking trustee companies by placing an advertisement in newspapers or the journal of the Law Society (this would alert a solicitor who may have made the will).
     
  • Ultimately,though, if a lost will can't be found than the deceased will be treated as having died intestate and all of the above will apply.

 

Help With Preparing A Will
  • In the South Burnett, your local solicitor will be very happy to help you prepare a will and many have standard forms for this purpose. You can obtain an up-to-date list of all the South Burnett's solicitors from SouthBurnett.biz by clicking here.
     
  • Some South Burnett newsagents also sell do-it-yourself Will Kits, and these are usually quite inexpensive. If you'd like to call your local newsagent to see if they stock these kits, you can get a listing of all South Burnett newsagencies from SouthBurnett.biz by clicking here.
     
  • There are also several companies which sell do-it-yourself Will Kits over the Internet, but if you live in Queensland you should ensure that you purchase a kit which complies with Queensland law. You can find out who these are by searching Google.