Lost Superannuation for Executors of Deceased Estates

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Hi, I’m Rebecca from CRH Law and I’m talking to you today about lost superannuation for executors of deceased estates.

Superannuation is, for many, one of their most significant assets. When you factor in the insurance components that many of us have, the death benefit payable to an estate or to a beneficiary can be quite significant. However, unfortunately many people often have numerous superannuation funds that they do not keep track of. This means that often there is lost superannuation, which can be difficult for an executor to locate or find when a person has died, particularly because there is often no paperwork to alert the executor to the existence of that superannuation.

What can an executor of an estate do to locate the lost superannuation? Well, firstly, an executor can speak to family and friends to determine whether they are aware of the existence of any such funds. However ultimately the executor’s responsibility is to ensure that they gather all of the assets of the deceased’s estate together. An application to the Australian Tax Office could be a prudent part of the executorial role.

The ATO holds significant records about lost superannuation. They are able to provide executors with details about existing funds that members may have. The application form is relatively straightforward, however the executor will need some significant information about the deceased person to enable the ATO to do their searches. The executor should provide on the form the tax file number for the deceased if known, the date of birth of the deceased, and also any previous employment history or addresses for the deceased person as well. All of this information helps the ATO to do a faster and more thorough search.

If there are any records that are located, the executor will be advised of the funds within which the deceased held super, and can write to those funds then to look to have the superannuation released to the estate or to beneficiaries.