"Next of kin" refers to your closest living blood relative. It is an important legal position, as there are circumstances under your Will where your next of kin is required to act, or may benefit from your estate due to other beneficiaries predeceasing you. Here you'll find some information on who may be your next of kin, and the circumstances under which they may play a role in your Will.
Safewill does not provide legal advice. If you require advice specific to your situation, we recommend seeing a qualified legal practitioner.
Who is my next of kin?
Your spouse or domestic partner, if you have one, is generally going to be your next of kin. Failing that, your next of kin is likely to be (in descending order):
- A child over the age of 18
- Siblings over the age of 18
All Australian states then have a limit on who they will look to in completing a search for next of kin. This usually involves:
- Aunts or Uncles
- First cousins
Again, this can vary state to state though, so it is important that you understand your personal position in the state in which you reside.
Where does my next of kin become relevant?
Your next of kin can become relevant where people you have listed in your Will pass away before you, and no one else is listed in the Will. For example, if you nominate someone to be your sole estate beneficiary, and they pass away without kids, your Safewill stipulates that your next of kin would inherit your estate. Likewise, they may be asked by courts to stand in as executor if there are no other appropriate people.
As always, if you have a question we are happy to help. If you are confused and need bespoke legal advice, we recommend seeing a qualified legal practitioner.