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An Overview: What Is Next Of Kin In Australia

Kin in Australia

An individual who is next of kin has the right to act on behalf of someone who passed away. In Australia, a few different legislations govern who is designated as a next of kin and their ownership. Understanding these laws is essential to make sure your family is secure after you’re gone. This blog post will help you understand everything you must know about next of kin in Australia. Let’s begin with –

What is Next of Kin?

In Australia, “next of kin” is frequently used to describe a person who had intimate contact with the deceased or their next living blood-related. They are often the first to be notified when someone dies unless another emergency contact is available or the deceased has a Will and has appointed an executor. The spouse, de facto partner, or nearest living adult relative are the most typical instances of a next of kin.

Who Can Get Designated As Next of Kin?

In Australia, any adult over the age of 18 can get named as a next of kin. Under Australian law, next of kin are typically relatives by blood or marriage, such as spouses, children, siblings, parents, and grandparents. However, any adult can get appointed as next of kin. Also, suppose no one is legally entitled to act on behalf of the deceased person; in that case, anyone interested in the estate may apply for letters of administration from the Supreme Court to deal with assets and liabilities.

The senior next of kin gets chosen as the next of kin. As a result, they will take on most of the duties related to the position and serve as a contact point for all procedures in completing the required next steps. It is crucial to understand that determining the next of kin in each Australian State involves minor variations.

In essence, the next of kin is selected and given specific tasks and obligations to manage the deceased’s estate when they pass away. An estate includes all the assets and possessions the dead left behind after their death.

Interestingly, the position of next of kin is not a legal requirement in Australia. Therefore, anyone named in this capacity is not required to accept it. The appropriate next of kin comes into existence in this situation. An individual who is next of kin is legally recognized and receives legal obligations in other nations, such as the United States.

The law uses the following priority list to determine who is the next of kin:

  • Marital partner (same-sex couples included)
  • The deceased’s adult children
  • The parents of the dead
  • Older siblings (the eldest sibling takes priority)
  • Anybody who served as the deceased’s agent just before they passed away
  • A person that the coroner chooses

What Are The Rights of a Next of Kin?

Once appointed as next-of-kin in Australia, the individual will have certain rights and responsibilities under Australian law. These rights include the ability to handle their business while still living and determine how their assets should get divided following their passing. They will also have the right to access medical records and make health care decisions on their behalf if necessary. Furthermore, they will handle any debt or other legal matters after death. For example, if taxes must be filed after death, this responsibility will also fall on them.   

Also, it’s important to note that a next-of-kin does not necessarily have control over a deceased person’s estate or property; this would depend on whether there is a Will in place which designates someone else as executor (if not then it would likely fall upon them). Furthermore, even if there is a Will in place naming someone else as an executor, they may still be necessary to assist with some tasks, such as locating assets or dealing with debt collectors/creditors.

Role of Next of Kin

There are obligations a person must do on behalf of the deceased when they are named the next of kin. The primary duties are as follows:

  • Informing friends and relatives of the passing
  • Setting up the funeral
  • Registering the death within 30 days of passing and giving the necessary information to the authorities. Authorities include banks, utility companies, and State and Federal agencies
  • Completing the deceased’s financial affairs.
  • Distributing the deceased’s wealth to the chosen heirs.

What Happens When a Person Dies Intestate?

Intestate refers to a decedent who passed away without a legally binding will. The next of kin in this situation shall get decided under intestacy laws. When a patient passes away in a hospital without any valid Will, and a next of kin is not finalized, the hospital will make funeral arrangements.

The hospital must hire a government agency to help with funeral arrangements per standard protocol. A doctor issues a death certificate, and the police will alert the relevant Director of Public Health, who will contact a government agency to arrange a funeral. If an individual dies in their home under the same conditions (no Will, no discoverable next of kin, and no assets to distribute), they will not have any assets to distribute. A deceased person’s real estate will belong to the State if there is no valid Will or qualified next of kin.

Connect With Professionals For Better Insight: Probate Consultants

Similar to letters of administration,It is crucial to understand what a next-of-kin involves to plan for the future and ensure that your family is taken care of when you pass away. Knowing your rights and obligations under Australian law can help you make informed decisions about who should serve in this capacity and how best to protect your interests while still providing adequate care for your loved ones after you pass away. With this information, you can rest assured knowing that your family will always be taken care of, no matter what happens down the line!

Read more – 7 Exciting Career Opportunities After MD In Australia

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