Why get married ? Why have a will ?
This sounds fine in theory but how do you tell a real Defacto partner from a housemate or a more casual kind of relationship when your prime witness is dead ?
This is going to be a horribly tricky area in coming years. Recently I spoke to the Mother of a boy who had been living with his first ever serious girlfriend for about 18 months. The boy and the girlfriend then split up for approximately six weeks, then got back together for another eight months before the boy announces to his Mother that the relationship with his girlfriend is over and he is going to move out. That weekend, before actually moving out, he is drowned in a boating accident. The girlfriend says that the six week breakup was just them taking some "Space" and that the boy certainly had not told her that it was over.
The boy has purchased his first house, has substantial superannuation and savings, even though he is only 25 years old. His Mother has contributed, obviously, in a substantial way both financially and non finacially, to the boys position. The girl, it seems, was a non contributer and a spendthrift who wants no contact with the Mother and is already in a new relationship.
The girl will probably get the entirety of her former boyfriends estate pursuant to the combined effect of the Administration and Probate Act and the "Relationships Act".