What happens when a will can’t be found?

Dee’s father has died but a will cannot be located. She asks Rod Cunich for guidance.

YourLifeChoices member Dee says her father has died but that no will can be found. She asks estate-planning lawyer Rod Cunich for guidance.

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Q. Dee
I was the only Power of Attorney for my father. This arrangement was made prior to him getting dementia. He has recently died. He had a very small savings account, which I managed for his nursing fees, but it was never established if he had a will. Can you tell me how I can establish this?

A. There is no way to absolutely determine if a person had a will. Many people lose wills or their family simply can’t find the deceased’s will. It is very common.

In such circumstances, the intestacy laws apply. This is basically a generic will created by legislation that determines who gets what when a person dies without a will. These laws vary greatly from state to state. Any solicitor who does probate work could assist you.

Rod Cunich is a lawyer with more than 30 years’ experience who specialises in estate planning. If you have a question for Rod, simply email it to newsletters@yourlifechoices.com.au

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    Disclaimer: This information has been provided by Rod Cunich and should be considered general in nature – legal advice should be sought.





    COMMENTS

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    Hillbillypete
    20th Feb 2019
    10:06am
    That didn’t answer the bloody question!!!
    Polly Esther
    20th Feb 2019
    10:35am
    ha ha ha , I think it did in a sort of a way pete, have a good day :-))
    Rosret
    20th Feb 2019
    10:08am
    I would say this is an advertisement for using a solicitor. However someone needs to know who the solicitor is! Its always good to keep a copy at home with instructions as to where the original has been filed.
    Sadie
    20th Feb 2019
    10:35am
    When my ex husband died without a will, my children had to wait a year before they could do anything. That was in Victoria.
    Seadove
    20th Feb 2019
    11:14am
    If she had Power of Attorney, she would have received paperwork from the solicitors. My son did when I made him mine.
    TREBOR
    20th Feb 2019
    12:09pm
    My will is in a safe place along with details of my funeral insurance and bank account details..... having two very responsible children helps...... they won't abuse any process...
    Anonymous
    20th Feb 2019
    12:42pm
    Have you also left all of your passwords too Bob? Mine are with the wills, details of who our solicitor is and the Enduring Power of Attorney.
    TREBOR
    20th Feb 2019
    12:48pm
    Yikes - no - and some have been changed... got 'em all in a book... have to add that in....

    Kids know the solicitor ...

    The funeral insurance is for a wake...... instructions are that if I see anyone crying, I'll come back to haunt them.... honour his life....not his passing.. though I know the world will be the lesser for it .....
    KB
    20th Feb 2019
    4:33pm
    I suggest that the lady checks with Public Trustees. They often look for people who inherit wills and need to be found. They often advertise in newpapers
    KB
    20th Feb 2019
    4:33pm
    I suggest that the lady checks with Public Trustees. They often look for people who inherit wills and need to be found. They often advertise in newpapers
    Hillbillypete
    20th Feb 2019
    4:37pm
    Those money hungry barstards, keep well away from them!
    Blossom
    20th Feb 2019
    6:55pm
    Some Executors / Solicitors check the Death Notices in the papers and track down beneficiaries that way. Check with the person who did the power of attorney. They may also have the will.
    travelman
    20th Feb 2019
    9:50pm
    Lost will or no will - I agree. I worked in Sydney for Perpetual Trustee and if the deceased died without making a will or a will was lost and not found the deceased died intestate. The deceased estate is then administered by the Public Trustee as there is no Executor, being there is will. The beneficiaries of the estate are the next of kin to the deceased and receive equal portions of the residual of the will after burial expenses, taxes and other debts are paid. It has been a long time since I administered estates but I don't think in intestate rules will have changed much. Google Public trustee should help this lady.
    travelman
    20th Feb 2019
    9:50pm
    Lost will or no will - I agree. I worked in Sydney for Perpetual Trustee and if the deceased died without making a will or a will was lost and not found the deceased died intestate. The deceased estate is then administered by the Public Trustee as there is no Executor, being there is will. The beneficiaries of the estate are the next of kin to the deceased and receive equal portions of the residual of the will after burial expenses, taxes and other debts are paid. It has been a long time since I administered estates but I don't think in intestate rules will have changed much. Google Public trustee should help this lady.