Lost or missing will – where to enquire?

Finding lost wills

lost original will, missing wills, When the original will of a deceased person can’t be found, the task of finalising their affairs and administering their estate becomes more complicated, time-consuming and costly.  It is therefore worthwhile to undertake methodical searches of the deceased’s residence, thoroughly searching high and low for a will or testamentary document, including the garage, shed and the like.  But what else can be done? Some suggestions follow as to where enquiries might be made. More

Magna Carta, the rule of law, citizens liberty and succession law

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Updated 1 October 2020

Magna Carta (the “Great Charter”) and succession law

The Magna Carta  (Latin for the Great Charter)  was sealed under oath by King John at Runnymede England in 1215.  It then became enshrined into English Law and subsequently adopted into Australian law.  The Magna Carta has been described as the ‘foundation stone of the rule of law’ by Lord Irvine of Lairg when he delivered his lecture on the Magna Carta to the Australian Parliament.

More on what the rule of law means and its importance can be found on the Australia’s Magna Carta Insitute here. 

But what has the Magna Carta got to do with inheritance and succession law? 

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Intestacy rules – who is entitled to inherit?

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Dying without a will (intestate) – who inherits?

Intestacy is when you die without leaving a will.  You are said to have died “intestate”.  In the absence of  instructions left in a valid will, who will inherit your property?  Succession law contains strict rules to deal with this problem.

This is an outline of the application of the intestacy rules. They specify the order of entitlement as to who inherits and in what proportion, as well as the provision of a sum of money (statutory legacy) for the spouse or partner.   More

Why make a will and what can a will do?

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Why make a will and what can it do?

Dying without leaving a will, or leaving an invalid one, is to die intestate.   Dying intestate means property left (the estate) is distributed according to the intestacy law.  The intestacy law has been prescribed by legislation as the ‘default’ rules to apply in these circumstances. The problem is that the intestacy formula for distribution may not produce the desired outcome.

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Dying intestate – when there is no will left or an invalid one

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Updated 17 October 2020

If a deceased person has not left a will, or if no document appearing to be a will can be found, they are said to have died intestate.  Here is an outline on how succession law rules operate to distribute an intestate person’s property; who is entitled to inherit.

The meaning of ‘intestate’

‘Intestate’ is a defined term in all state and territory legislation dealing with intestacy.  It is defined with similar wording throughout, such as that in section 102 of the Succession Act 2006 (NSW):

An intestate is someone who has died and either not left a will or left one which does not dispose effectively by the will all or part of their property. More