Last updated 8 August 2016

De facto couples (including same-sex couples) can leave property to each other in their will and can appoint each other in a power of attorney or statutory health authority. De facto couples (including same-sex couples) are considered spouses under laws about wills, which are called intestacy rules (for more information on wills see the Wills and Estates chapter).

Under the Succession Act 1981 (Qld) (Succession Act), a person can make an application for maintenance from the estate of a deceased person if they are that deceased person’s spouse. Again, s 5AA of the Succession Act and s 32DA of the Acts Interpretation Act 1954 (Qld) make it clear that the definition of ‘spouse’ includes parties to a de facto couple and that the gender of the party is irrelevant.

A de facto spouse is entitled to a share of the estate as a lawful spouse. Section 36 of the Succession Act deals with the situation where a person died without a will and is survived by both the de facto spouse and a lawful spouse.