I recently received an enquiry from someone who was trying to deal with an Estate where the deceased had died without a Will. Among other enquiries as to how to deal with the Estate assets, the enquirer did not know how to find which fund held the deceased’s superannuation.
If the deceased was younger than 55 at their date of death and did not spend their entire working life as a contractor or working in their own business, chances are they do have superannuation somewhere.
Certain industries have preferred or obligatory superannuation funds. For example, if the deceased worked for the Queensland government at any time, they will likely have superannuation with QSuper. If you know which industry your loved one predominantly worked in, you could try superannuation companies tailored to that industry first.
If you aren’t sure what industries the deceased worked in, or if they changed jobs often and moved around, there are a few online lost super services you can use. The Australian Tax Office has the most comprehensive super finder. You can find it online here. You will need the deceased’s full name, date of birth and tax file number to use this service, but it is free to use.
Under superannuation laws, usually the only people who can benefit from a deceased’s superannuation are their spouse, children or financial dependents. However, if the deceased did not have any children, no spouse and no financial dependents, it may be open for the trustee to distribute the funds to anyone else in the deceased’s life who can show that they have a claim. Although you can complete the necessary form yourself, your claim will have a better chance of success if you retain an experienced Estate lawyer to assist you.
Please contact me should you require assistance or advice.