Dying without a will If a person dies without a will this is known as 'intestacy' and the laws of intestacy will apply. If a person has a will that has been revoked or is invalid for whatever reason and dies then the laws of intestacy will also apply in this case as well. Intestacy laws are state based and will vary slightly from state to state. In NSW the laws can be found under the Succession Act 2006 in sections 101-140. See http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/sa2006138/ Generally in NSW a surviving spouse takes the assets of the deceased. However if there are children from another relationship the assets would be shared. If there are multiple spouses the spouses may have to share. If there are no spouses and no children then the parents may take the whole estate in equal shares if both parents alive. If no parents, no children and no spouse then the brothers and sisters take the whole estate. etc. If there is no will then there will be no executor appointed. This means that someone will be able to apply to Administer your estate. This could be one or more family members, and disputes about who will take this role can occur. The person appointed will be called the Administrator not the Executor.