In cases where no Will has been made, the relevant Australian Intestacy Laws have not been drafted with any consideration of what is culturally appropriate for an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.
Therefore, the law can operate to create disharmony and disputes.
When a Will has is drafted for an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander it needs to be culturally appropriate.
➲ Prevent burial disputes;
➲ Ensure the distribution of the estate is is accordance with the wishes of the deceased;
➲ Make sure young children are provided and looked after by a person approved of by the deceased;
➲ Protect customary law matters and help keep them secret; and
➲ Place limits on the use of the deceased's name, photograph or image after their death.
A Digital Legacy Plan comprised of Digital Asset Directions (used in combination with our Digital Safe Custody Vault) can be extremely helpful to the Executor of the Will of an Indigenous Australian in both protecting + keeping secret customary law matters, and placing limits on the use of the deceased's name, photograph or image after their death.
Source: “Aboriginal Wills Handbook: A practical guide to making culturally appropriate Wills for Aboriginal People” by Prue Vines, 2nd edition .
Note: The author of the Aboriginal Wills Handbook has waived copyright and any part of the handbook may be reproduced provided acknowledgement is made of this source.
This FAQ was written by James D. Ford GAICD | Principal Solicitor, Blue Ocean Law Group℠.
This FAQ is intended for general interest + information only.
It is not legal advice, nor should it be relied upon or used as such.
We recommend you always consult a lawyer for legal advice specifically tailored to your needs & circumstances.