If you die without a Will or your Will is not valid, then an application for a Grant of Letters of Administration will need to be made to the Supreme Court. In most instances the grant is made to the next of kin of the deceased. For example, the spouse, de facto partner or a child of the deceased.
A domestic or de facto relationship is when two people are not married but live together or have lived together as a couple on a genuine domestic basis. The same laws apply to same-sex couples as to heterosexual (different-sex) couples. You need to have lived in a domestic or de facto relationship for two years or have a child together before your partner can benefit from your estate if you die without a Will. The safest way to make sure your partner gets what you want them to inherit from your estate is to make a valid Will. This article explores cases where there was no valid Will in place and the implications for the living partner.