Personal Farewells > Our Blog > 2022 > August

What is Next of Kin?

In Australia, the term next of kin is a person’s spouse, de facto partner or closest living relative above 18.

When a person dies, their affairs need to be finalised. Typically, this starts with notifying family and friends of their passing, making funeral arrangements, and ends with the administration of their assets and finalising financial affairs.

Unless there’s another emergency contact listed, a person’s next of kin is the first person notified in these circumstances. When a loved one dies, in most cases a next of kin is responsible for making legal decisions, organising the funeral, and managing their estate (an estate is all the money and property that the deceased owns upon their death).

Where there is a Will, the executors are responsible for administering the deceased’s estate. If there is no valid Will, the next of kin can carry out these responsibilities.

How to determine Next of Kin

The legal order of priority used to identify the next of kin is as follows:

– Spouse or domestic partner (same sex couples included)
– Adult children
– Parents
– Adult siblings (the eldest sibling takes priority)
– Any person who was a representative for the deceased immediately before death

Are you a next of kin and need assistance with what’s required and steps involved to farewell your loved one?

As a family owned and operated funeral service provider, Personal Farewells understands the importance of family, and we’re here to support, guide and help you through this process.

Call us on 1300 95 95 33, email us on [email protected], or fill out our contact form for more information.


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