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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.   

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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: 

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