Each state has a formula prescribing the proportions that spouses and children will receive. They often prescribe that a spouse will receive the first $100,000, and half to one-third of the balance. The children may receive half to the other two thirds. In Tasmania and New South Wales, the spouse often receives everything.
This may give an answer that is acceptable in simple circumstances, but if you have separated and not divorced or blended families with children from different relationships, the answer may be very much contrary to what would generally be deserved or expected.
The only way to avoid the uncertainty is to make a will.
Having made a will, it is then important to ensure that it is up to date and deals with changed circumstances. It can also be impossible to change a will if the person loses capacity – this is generally a result of dementia.