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Step 4 - Locate the Will & Insurance Information

Last updated: June 2019

Why is this important?

This step is focused on locating the valid Will (if one is in place) and finding out about any pre-arranged funeral, pre-paid funeral plan or funeral insurances the deceased person may have arranged to help the family and save you money and time. You should check this before you engage a Funeral Director in case there are restrictions.

 

simplyEstate is here to help with the process. Contact us via email or book a first free phone appointment.

Approximate Effort & Cost

Reading: 15 mins
Preparing: 30 mins
Completing: 1-2 hrs
Total: 1:45-2:45 hrs
Cost: $0

Effort and cost are general estimates only and are based on the assumption that you complete this step without specialist help.

Instructions

To find out how this Process Guide works, access the instructions here.

Glossary

To find out what the capitalised words mean, access the glossary here.

4.1 Overview

The Will is an important document as it outlines the deceased person’s final wishes. You should ascertain if ─

  • a Will is in place and you can locate it;
  • a pre-arranged funeral, pre-paid funeral plan or funeral insurance is in place;
  • you can make an informed decision on how to progress with the body transport from the home, hospital or nursing home without incurring unnecessary costs; and
  • you can secure other important documents whilst looking for the Will.

Contents
4.2 Check if a Will is in Place & Locate It
4.3 What if There are Multiple Wills
4.4 What if There is no Will?
4.5 Check for Pre-Arranged Funeral Provisions
   4.5.1 If a Will is in Place
   4.5.2 If No Will is in Place
4.6 Contact the Funeral Insurance or Funeral Provider
4.7 Secure Other Documents
4.8 Actions and Decisions to Complete Step

4.2 Check if a Will is in Place & Locate It

First of all, you will need to find out if the deceased person put a Will in place and where this may be located. The spouse, de facto partner, children aged 18 and over, parents, siblings or the Executor (person nominated in the Will to administer the deceased estate) may be able to help with this.

 

If you are unsure where the Will may be located, you should check:

If the Will is stored by someone else, you may need to use the copy of the Will to prove the death until you receive the Death Certificate (see Step 8 – Apply for the Death Certificate) allowing you to obtain the original Will.

4.3 What if There are Multiple Wills

There may be instances where multiple Wills or multiple versions of Wills are found. It will be crucial to determine which of the Wills is valid and to be used for the estate administration process.

 

If you are unsure which Will is valid, it is recommended that you seek specialist help from one of our carefully selected Specialist Partners near you. Their contact details are listed in the yellow section to the right or below.

simplyEstate is here to help.

Contact us via email or book your first free phone appointment.

4.4 What if There is no Will?

If you have determined that no Will is in place and this is confirmed by family members, then you should still check if any pre-arranged funeral, pre-paid funeral or funeral insurance plans are in place as outlined below.

4.5 Check for Pre-Arranged Funeral Provisions

Some commonly known providers for pre-arranged funeral, pre-paid funeral plan or funeral insurance in Australia are:

  • AIA Funeral Insurance
  • American Express
  • ANZ
  • Apia
  • Real Insurance
  • Choosi
  • Australian Seniors
  • Insuranceline
  • Zurich
  • Many Funeral Directors also offer such arrangements

4.5.1 If a Will is in Place

After locating the Will, you will be able to search for references to any pre-arranged funeral, pre-paid funeral plan or funeral insurance and with which provider.
It will be worthwhile also checking who the Executor nominated in the Will is for the next Step 5 – Determine the Executor or Administrator of the Deceased Estate and for the Executor to hold on to the Will.

 

The deceased person may have drafted a Will a while ago and as time went on changes were required to amend certain clauses or entire sections of a Will. This can either be achieved by drafting a new Will completely or draft a Codicil, which is a supplementary document to the Will. If a Codicil is in place, the Will and the Codicil(s) will need to be provided.

4.5.2 If no Will is in Place

If no Will was found and the Next of Kin or family confirms that no Will is in place, look for documents of pre-arranged funeral, pre-paid funeral plan or funeral insurance providers such as policy documents, letters, invoices or business cards.

4.6 Contact the Funeral Insurance or Funeral Provider

If you have successfully located the provider, you should contact them to inform them of the death and check what services are covered, especially the transportation of the body at this point in time. Also check which provider you can choose from if specified or what restrictions and limits you need to be aware of when you work through Step 6 – Organise Transportation of the Body.

4.7 Secure Other Documents

As you are looking for the Will and pre-arranged funeral, pre-paid funeral plan or funeral insurance documents, we recommend that you take all other relevant documents that may be important for the deceased estate administration into your custody if you will be the likely Executor or Administrator. Refer to the simplyEstate Document Checklist here.

4.8 Actions and Decisions to Complete Step

If you would like a little help from us at simplyEstate with this Step, you can email us or book your first free phone appointment. If you would like specialist help, get in touch with one of our Specialist Partners listed to the right or below in the yellow section and see how they can help.

 

If you have decided to tackle this Step yourself after reading and understanding this Step, you may want to:

  1. Find out if a Will is in place;
  2. Locate the Will;
  3. Where multiple Wills can be found, determine which Will is the valid Will;
  4. Check the Will or other documents where you could not find a Will about any pre-arranged funeral, pre-paid funeral plan or funeral insurances;
  5. Contact the insurance or funeral provider about the arrangement and request if the body transport is included based on your situation;
  6. Prepare the transportation of the deceased person’s body as outlined in Step 6 – Organise Transportation of the Body; and
  7. Secure other important documents that you have found whilst looking for the Will.

Once you have completed all the necessary actions and decisions, you can move on to the next Step by clicking below or save progress at the top.

Do you need specialist help?

simplyEstate has partnered with select Specialists across Australia to assist you.

 

You can click on your State/Territory to find a suitable Specialist and get in touch to discuss how they can help you.

Estate Lawyers

 

simplyEstate Specialist Partner Listings coming soon in 2019.

 

simplyEstate Specialist Partner Listings coming soon in 2019.

 

simplyEstate Specialist Partner Listings coming soon in 2019.

 

simplyEstate Specialist Partner Listings coming soon in 2019.

Get in Touch

  the simplyEstate logo contains the name with three overlapping circles in red, blue and yellow colours to symbolise an integrated process and progress  

If you would like to speak to us about this Step, discuss how to engage a Specialist Partner or need support, book a Phone Appointment now.

simplyEstate is here to help.

 

Help us improve this step

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What other users say

“This is a very useful guide! As the Executor of a family friends estate, this was my go-to place for information and the services provided by the recommended tax accountant and removalists was great.”

Andrew Zhao
Melbourne
“It is a lot of materials at first but I quickly understood why. estate administration can be tricky but thanks to simplyestate, we were able to deal with my brother’s affairs in a a few months. Thank you for your help…”

Maria Stamoulis
Sydney
“simplyEstate has helped me and my family during a very difficult time after the loss of my mother. We were lost initially and don’t know how we could’ve managed without this excellent resource, thank you very much!”

Jane Winters
Perth

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