A death certificate is an official document evidencing the death of a loved one, issued by Birth, Deaths and Marriages. It is an important document so you must take time and care when completing the application form.
It may be used to transfer joint bank accounts into the name of the surviving joint account holder, or it may be included in an application for probate by the executor of the estate. It may also be used for any claim for death benefits arising from a superannuation fund and life insurance policies held by the deceased.
The most common mistake we see is including or excluding a person on the form as a de facto partner. Some people do this without understanding the meaning of a de facto partner. Issues may then arise with banks, superannuation funds and life insurance agencies if the details on the death certificate are incorrect.
For example, if you have included a de facto partner on the death certificate and he, she or they are not a de facto partner as recognised under the relevant legislation, and then an application is made for superannuation death benefits, a super fund will review the death certificate and if the deceased did not have a binding nomination, then the superannuation fund may contact the named de facto partner and ask them if he, she or they are considering making a claim for the death benefits. In the instance where the de facto partner is not a de facto partner as recognised by the legislation, this may cause issues with the superannuation fund paying any death benefits.
If you have recently received a death certificate and the details contained on the document are incorrect, please contact us and we can assist you with having this changed.
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