Accessibility 1

Deceased Estates & Superannuation

When someone dies, they might leave things behind, such as property, money, debts, superannuation, or other items. These things together are called a deceased estate and are usually passed onto a partner or immediate family member.   

Side Cta Leaf
Advancing Women’s Rights

Free legal help for women & non-binary persons

What are deceased estates?

People sometimes leave behind a will. A will is a piece of paper that tells us about the person’s wishes, including what they want to happen with their deceased estate. A will can be held in different places, like with family, the Public Trustee, or with a lawyer. 

If no will is made, then there are laws that decide who gets the deceased estate. A lawyer can help you find out these laws and help with an application to the court.  

The law about deceased estates is different in every State and Territory in Australia. 

What is superannuation?

Superannuation, or super, may be part of a deceased estate.  

Super is long-term savings to make sure people have money when they retire. Your super will grow bigger as you work. Your boss, the employer, must pay you super. 

You can access your superannuation when: 

*preservation age = age you can access your super depending on what year you were born 

You may be able to access someone else’s super when: 

If you are a partner or immediate family member of someone who has passed away, you can get legal help. TEWLS can help you to find a will and give advice about finding and accessing super.  

Please note that TEWLS cannot assist with drafting and/or changing wills.  

You can learn more about deceased estates and superannuation by reading our factsheet here.

When should I get help with deceased estates and superannuation?

You might need to seek legal help if you answer “yes” to any of the below questions: 

Side Cta Leaf
Advancing Women’s Rights

Free legal help for women & non-binary persons

Cta Bg
Advancing Women’s Rights
Free legal help for women & non-binary persons


The TEWLS website has a “quick exit” button in the top right-hand corner of the page.

This button will close the TEWLS website and open the Bureau of Meteorology website. You may need to use this button if you are worried that someone is watching you use the computer or that you have been looking at the TEWLS website.

The “quick exit” button does not delete your browser history. This means that if someone checks your browser history, they will be able to see that you have visited the TEWLS website.


Remember, deleting large parts of your internet history may be dangerous. This is because it may tell someone that you do not want your internet history to be found.

If you need help with online safety and/or technological safety, you can visit the eSafety Commissioner website here or you can call 1800 RESPECT on their 24-hour telephone counselling and support service. If you are in danger, you should call the Police on 000.


If you would like to speak to TEWLS with an interpreter:

You can call TEWLS on 1800 234 441 and ask to speak to us with an interpreter. We can organise this for free. You will need to tell us your name, your phone number and the language that you speak. We will then call you back with an interpreter on the phone.

TEWLS are able to organise interpreters for most languages, including Aboriginal languages and Auslan.


You can also organise for TEWLS to contact you:

To organise for TEWLS to contact you, please complete the form through the Request An Appointment button on the TEWLS home page.


If you would like to listen to the TEWLS website in an
Aboriginal language:

TEWLS has had four Top End Aboriginal languages recorded for this website. You can click the “play” button to listen to these recordings.

The languages that are currently available are:

  • Murrinh-Patha
  • Tiwi
  • Warlpiri
  • Yolngu Matha

If you would like to read the TEWLS website in a language other than English:

The TEWLS website is able to be translated to lots of different languages. To change the language settings, press the “English” button in the top bar of the website and choose the language that you speak.
Skip to content