Genealogy research is a field of study that specialises in families and family trees. Our research process is diligently conducted with a strict protocol to provide accurate results and a tailored report unique to individual clients.
Proof of kinship is an essential piece of evidence in probate genealogy and beneficiary research. Kinship refers to a person’s connection by blood, marriage, adoption and family relationship to another person. Proving one’s kinship to family members or descendants to establish family or marriage ties is common in inheritance or estate claims.
What are the essential documents to prove kinship?
If you were named as next of kin of a deceased family member or relative, you need to produce a legal document to prove your identity and relationship to the estate owner, which can be presented in court to prove or disprove your genealogical claims to the estate.
Here are some of the essential documents that you can use:
- Birth certificate
- Marriage record
- Family tree
- Government-issued identification
If these documents are insufficient, other vital records recognised by the state where the deceased resides may still be required.
What does next of kin mean?
Next of kin is not legally defined in Australia and may vary from state to state. Here is an example of the order of the deceased’s next of kin:
- De-facto spouse or partner
- Adult children (18 years and above)
- Siblings (18 years and above)
- Next closest living relative
Importance of proof of kinship
We’ve already discussed how genealogy and family tree verification can help with intestate entitlement and finding beneficiaries. Once the beneficiary is located and proof of kinship is verified by the probate court law, the person is now legally entitled to the following rights as a beneficiary:
- You should be notified about the will by the executor through email, phone or letter
- Request for the full copy of the will and view the accounts of the estate
- You should receive the legacy within 12 months after the estate owner’s death
However, you aren’t allowed to do the following:
- You can’t make the funeral arrangement for the deceased unless you’re also named as the estate’s executor
- You can’t remove the executor of the will unless he or she already passed away, has lost the capacity or deemed unfit to administer the will, or there is a conflict of interest in the administration of the estate.
How we can help
Worthington Clark ensures that all documentation for evidence such as kinship proof is legally certifiable to verify the identities of all known and unknown family members named in the will. Our team of professional researchers are highly experienced in beneficiary/executor location search, intestacy entitlement research and family tree verification.
Tell us what you need help with
Our Worthington Clark genealogists and researchers are highly trained to conduct accurate, sophisticated and well-detailed research processes to best benefit our clients.