It’s an unfortunate situation when a loved one has just passed away. It’s an incredibly stressful and emotional period that has been made worse by the financial strain their passing has left on you and your family. You may be wondering at such a time, what happened to their superannuation? And is finding deceased superannuation a thing?
If you have ever held a job before in Australia, the chances are that you have a superannuation fund that your employer has made regular payments into.
The purpose of this article is to provide a guide on finding deceased superannuation.
How Do I Know If My Loved One Had Super?
There are a few simple questions you can ask yourself to ascertain the likelihood of whether your loved one had superannuation.
Firstly: Was the deceased younger than 55?
If they are younger than 55, they have not reached the required age to access their super.
Secondly: What did they do for work?
If they spent their entire career operating their own business or working as a contractor, the likelihood is lower that they have a superannuation fund somewhere.
What Is The First Step To Finding Deceased Superannuation?
The first step to finding deceased superannuation is trying to figure out with superfund they were actually with.
What can help make your search easier is knowing that many industries have preferred or required Superfunds. An example of this is in the case of NSW Health workers who use First State Super. Accordingly, if you know the industry your loved one worked in, you can try and find out which superannuation companies are typically involved in that industry.
Finding Deceased Superannuation – Where Do I Start?
If you are unsure of what industry your loved one was in, or if they changed jobs too frequently to guess what superfund they were engaged with accurately, you can use some online services to help find lost super.
The Australia Taxation Office (‘ATO’) has the best tool to help locate super. To use the tool, you will need information such as the full name, date of birth and tax file number of the deceased.
The tool and more information can be found here. It is free to use.
Who Can Make a Claim For a Deceased Loved One’s Super?
Superannuation laws make it clear that the only people that can benefit from the superannuation of the deceased are:
- Their wife or husband
- Their children
- Any financial dependants
- Any person who was in a relationship with the deceased – e.g. de facto couples
- The executor or administrator of the estate.
In the situation that your loved one did not have a spouse, any children or financial dependents. In that case, it would potentially be open for the trustee to distribute the funds to other persons in the life of the deceased who may have a valid claim.
How Do I Make a Claim For Deceased Superannuation?
Firstly– you should contact the super fund of the deceased and explain the situation.
Secondly – Your eligibility will be determined based on some questions. If you are eligible, some forms will be required to be filled out
Thirdly – Your application will be assessed.
Fourthly – A decision will be made, and all persons who have made a claim will be notified of your claim and have 28 days to object to it.
Finally – Once all objects have been dealt with, or there are no objections – the payment of the deceased superannuation can be made.
Importance of Seeking Legal Advice
When discussing matters such as finding deceased superannuation in Australia, you may struggle to find information regarding the superannuation yourself despite your best efforts.
If this is the case, please do not hesitate to reach out to one of our friendly and experienced Wills and Estates Lawyers today. We are always happy to help.
Here at JB Solicitors, we’ll make the process as pain-free as possible. We have fixed-fee pricing for family law, giving you a clear sense of the costs from the start, and we will be sure to help you out every step of the way. With years of experience under our belt, we pride ourselves on making each client’s family law experience as positive as possible.
Contact JB Solicitors today to speak with one of our friendly and experienced family lawyers.
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