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Importance of making a will

Roughly half of Australians don’t have a will, maybe because it’s a topic we’d prefer not think about.  

But Covid reminds us how fast life can change. With the world in the grip of a pandemic, the number of people writing a will is rising, in some cases as much as 300%.

If you die without a will, which is dying ‘intestate,’ what happens then? In this case, your spouse will inherit a lump sum, and then the balance is divided amongst any children. This is regardless of whether it’s what you wanted.  

This is because without a will, the legal rules of intestacy (different in each state in Australia) take over. 

Overall, there is an order of inheritance, which without a spouse, goes to the children and grandchildren, then parents, siblings of the deceased, and so on.
 

When the government, or a solicitor, tries to distribute the assets of someone who dies intestate, they may ask an estate genealogist to help them identify the descendants and extended family. 

 

Affectionately called a ‘gene’ (pronounced genie), a genealogist traces family trees and finds missing beneficiaries 

 

Worthington Clark offers estate genealogy services, tracing relatives and descendants for the purposes of distributing a deceased estate. 

 

disclaimer:  information on this website does not constitute legal advice.  content is provided for informational purposes only. 

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