Coping Financially After Loss of a Partner


Losing your partner is a very emotional and difficult time with a lot to think about and consider. There are many tasks to undertake, and financial matters particularly can be overwhelming at a time when you are grieving.

We can assist through this process and help ease the burden at this stressful occasion.

The first step is to ascertain the assets held in the name of the deceased spouse, either held individually, as tenants in common or jointly. Any jointly held assets revert to the surviving account holder, normally via a submission of a Certified Copy of the Death Certificate to the appropriate financial institution. EG: Bank

Any assets held personally by the deceased, (excluding Super, on most occasions), form part of the Estate pool of assets and are distributed to the nominated beneficiaries according to the deceased’s Will. More often than not, the beneficiary is the spouse or partner of the deceased.

The next step is to gather the appropriate documents such as the Death Certificate, which normally takes around 3-6 weeks to arrive and the original Will. If the assets of the deceased are generally more than $20,000 (excluding Super), and/or the financial institutions request such, a Grant of Probate will be required to pay out the funds into the Estate pool of assets. A lawyer can apply for the Grant of Probate on your behalf.

Once the Grant of Probate is issued by the Supreme Court of Victoria, an electronic copy will normally be available with a verification number and/or a hard copy original will be provided attached to the original Will.

We recommend that at least 10 Certified Copies of the Will with Probate and the Death Certificate be made as these will need to be provided to each financial institution etc.

Superannuation, either within the Accumulation or Pension phase, is normally treated differently to other assets. A review of whether there was a Non-Lapsing Nomination in place needs to be ascertained as a priority. This allows the funds to be paid to the surviving partner/spouse (or other financial dependents) either as a lump sum or pension, outside of the Will and Grant of Probate.

Defined Benefit Super Pensions also have a reversionary pension option to a surviving spouse with a set formula on the pension to be paid and options to convert to a part or full lump sum.

It is important to review how your assets are currently held now to simplify the Estate process.

We can assist you through the above process. Please call us today.