When someone dies intestate (died without a Will), his or her assets will be distributed in accordance with the Distribution Act 1958’s fixed formula as stipulated in Section 6, and not according to deceased wishes or needs of his or her family members. Entitlement of beneficiaries to the deceased’s assets strictly as following:
- Leaving a spouse, parents, and issue (children): spouse ¼ parents ¼ issue ½
- Leaving a spouse and parents but no issue: spouse ½ parents ½
- Leaving a spouse and issue but no parents: spouse ⅓ issue ⅔
- Leaving issue and parents but no spouse: issue ⅔ parents ⅓
- Leaving no spouse, issue or parents: equal share among brothers and sisters; grandparents; uncles and aunts; great grandparents; great uncles and aunts; government in accordance with priority.
Besides, the court will appoint a trustee and executor to administer the deceased’s estate; also will appoint a guardian for his or her minor children, and the person appointed by the court may not be the deceased preference. Usually, it could lead to disputes between family members or beneficiaries who should be appointed.