I’ve Inherited a Puzzle

It’s been a whirlwind 48 hours for me and my family. Until yesterday morning, I didn’t know anything about the process of obtaining letters of administration in Melbourne. Well… I can say unequivocally that now I do. At least, I think I’ve got the ball rolling. From what I understand, it could be several months before this thing is officially granted.

Backing up to the beginning of the story: my great aunt passed away peacefully in her sleep the other day, and it turned out she hadn’t left a will. My mum cottoned to this pretty quickly, but was too busy being emotionally available for her cousins to do much about it. That has left me to try to unravel the mystery of what happens next.

I’m lucky to live in the age of the internet, I’ll tell you that much. While waiting at the airport to fly down from Sydney, I was able to learn about what happens when a valid will can’t be found. Apparently, a deceased person’s estate can be administered by their next of kin if the appropriate legal approval is sought.

According to mum, this is something that needs to happen swiftly if her cousins are to get a share in my great aunt’s fortune, which I’m told is kinda massive. (I’m not sure how I didn’t know this, but it turns out she owned the rights to some well-known pieces of music, which she’d bought for peanuts in the 1960s.)

You see, my great aunt had a number of long-term boyfriends – a surprising number, given her very advanced age. Mum claims that they all know each other, and will be forming an alliance to get in on the inheritance action. None of them are my great aunt’s next of kin, though, and her daughters are still alive and well. So, from what I’ve read, I don’t see what legs the boyfriend brigade really has to stand on.

If she’d just taken the time to make a legal will with a lawyer, Melbourne might have been a relaxing holiday destination for me this weekend. But here I am running around trying to find a lawyer for my stressed-out relatives. Good times!