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Australians leave money to family rather than charity

Recent research from Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne has found that, despite giving regularly to charity during their lifetime, not many Australians leave charitable bequests in their will.

Researcher Dr Christopher Baker said: "The records show that Australians overwhelmingly leave their estates to immediate family members - first spouses, then children. They also show that there is a significant discrepancy between what people do with their estates and intestacy laws that determine how estates are distributed in the absence of a will."

The research, which looked at probate records in Victoria, also revealed that the majority of people who do leave money to charity have no surviving children to be beneficiaries to their estate.

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