Where there is no will

If a person passes away without ever making a will, that person is said to have passed away 'intestate' and there are laws which specify exactly which members of that person's family are entitled to anything owned by that person (including any copyright or resale royalty). If you don’t have a will then after you pass away, the government refers to those laws to decide how to share any money from your art (or music or books or films) between your family members. It probably won’t be the way you would want that money to be shared and there can be a lot of bureaucracy for families trying to access the money of an artist who has passed away. 

The rules of intestacy are different in each State of Australia. Arts Law is developing a guide for families of deceased artists explaining the steps involved in managing the estate of a deceased artist who passed away without a will. In most cases, you should choose the kit for the State or Territory in which the artist usually lived before he or she passed away. If you are not sure, contact Arts Law for advice as to which kit is the right kit for your situation.


The development of this resource is made possible though the support of Copyright Agency Ltd (CAL) and The Commonwealth Government through the Office for the Arts, Department of Regional Australia, Local Government,
Arts and Sport (DRALGAS).