With over 20 years of experience, we can help with your death benefit or life insurance claim.Get free advice
All super funds in Australia offer benefits in the event of a loved one’s death. They’re designed to ease the burden of financial strain at a difficult time.
If you are a spouse, child, nominated beneficiary, or if you were financially dependent on someone who has passed away, you may be entitled to their super contributions and connected insurance benefits.
You may find it complicated and stressful to access these valuable benefits, especially if you’re grieving. Or you might be in a situation where there is a dispute about who is entitled to the funds.
We have a team of expert lawyers specialised in this area of law. We are here to help you through the entire claim process claim, so you get everything you’re entitled to, simply and successfully.
- CorporateINTL Global Awards Winner 2018 - “Personal Injury & Superannuation Law Firm of the Year in Australia”.
- In 2019 alone, we secured our clients $49 million in insurance and super claims.
- Over 20 years’ experience, means we know how to fast track your claim and get your benefit to you as soon as possible.
In 2020 alone we secured over $62 million in insurance payouts for our clients making death benefit and life insurance claims.
Don’t just take our word for it See what our clients say
I can now move on with financial security
What can I say. What an absolute pleasure it was dealing with Monaco! Smooth, fast and the most professional lawyers I’ve ever dealt with. Ginan made things so easy, called to see how I was once a week and give me updates and kept me informed the whole way, an absolute superstar. I can now move on with my life and with financial security. Thanks again Monaco and thanks again to Ginan and Ben.
My case has just taken 3 months
I am so happy with the outcome of my case. Monaco Solicitors were very professional and their expertise and knowledge were comforting. Daniella was excellent to deal with. She kept in contact with me on a regular basis with up to date progress on my claim. I would recommend Monaco Solicitors to anyone needing help. All the team was very happy and helpful and always available to talk with you. My case has just taken 3 months to get an outcome from the time all the paperwork was completed. Which is an unbelievable timeframe. I can’t thank them enough.
I have my life back on track
I would recommend Monaco Solicitors to anyone looking for an outstanding compensation law firm. They are the best in the industry – experts in what they do and empathetic towards their clients, making them feel heard and supported. Can’t thank Monaco enough for their help, I can now have my life back on track.
I got four quotes and they were the best price
Warren and his team went above and beyond to get me the best result in record time I am sure. I got four quotes and not only were they the best price, they were less than half of one of the firms you always see on TV. Seriously can’t thank these guys enough!
Took all of the worry of my claim away from me
My solicitor Ben and his assistants took all of the worry of my claim away from me (that is the reason that I had waited so long to appeal – as it was just too hard even though I knew I was in the right!!). They kept me fully informed of all developments and achieved what I believe to be a very successful outcome. I would very much recommend Monaco Solicitors for compensation litigation.
Extremely compassionate and understanding
I would fully recommend Monaco Solicitors for several reasons. My case involved the death of my husband so it has been an extremely difficult time for me. My lawyer (Anthony Porthouse) and his team were extremely compassionate and understanding. They kept me up to date with the progression of the case and explored every avenue regarding getting me the best result.
Trust was a very important factor and I trusted their judgement completely. I was treated with respect and not made to feel as though I was just another case. If you need a very good lawyer then I definitely would consider Monaco Solicitors. VH.
Results came very quickly
Very responsive and great at keeping me updated all the way through my case. Results came very quickly and they were very comprehensive and accurate when representing my case. They always answered my questions and helped me understand the process along the way. Very happy with this firm and would recommend.
Taken all stress off me
Monaco Solicitors have managed to change my life completely. They have taken all stress off me resolving my legal matter in a very positive outcome. They have kept me closely updated on progress all the way through and returned my calls with an hour if I had questions or concerns. They also took the time to reassure me when I felt concerned or worried. The lady handling my case I was so comfortable with you would feel like a friend and I don’t believe that a better job could have been achieved. I would without hesitation recommend that anyone needing their services to go ahead without hesitation and the costs involved were so reasonable and I felt I had been given a bargain and very happy to pay. Thank you
I got all that I was entitled to
Monaco Compensation Lawyers have been a wonderful support during a difficult time. I am particularly grateful to both Kelly and Paul who sought to see I got all that I was entitled to and such amazing support throughout and at mediation. A big thank you to the whole team.
Won us the compensation we needed
Great team would highly recommend. They did so much work for us and their personal approach was amazing. They treated my wife and I with such care and won us the compensation we needed to get our life back on track. They really care about what they do and their clients.
If you want a personal approach and not just another client approach I have to say they will look after you.
Looked after me like I was part of their family
Where do I start omg Monaco Solicitors looked after me like a was part of their family, 24/7 they where there for me right from the front desk to the top.
They made me feel safe, cared 4, loved, and only ever treated my with respect, loyalty, honesty, compassion. A massive thank u to Ness (Vanessa), Mumma bear (June), my mate (Dillon), Emily and all the girls at the front desk that took my 10 calls a day lol.
I honestly think I have friends for life. Thank u all for having my back, love u all.
Couldn't have asked for a better law firm
We contacted Monaco two years ago. We found them to be very thorough and professional. We were kept well informed of the progress of our claim. Maria Aravena was so professional and compassionate to our situation. They fought for us and got us the best possible outcome for our case.
Couldn’t have asked for a better law firm!! Highly recommended as negligence lawyers!!
It was very stress free
I can’t thank Vanessa Mouawad Azzi and her team enough for the hard work they put in for my compensation claim. They made it so easy on me, and any time I needed to attend medical appointments for them, they paid the cost upfront for me, including flights, accommodation and “spending money”, which was paid back to them upon completion of the settlement. It was very stress free on me as a single mother. Thank you again. I highly recommend Monaco.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have a claim?
You are likely to have a claim if you:
- were in a close personal relationship with the loved one (e.g. a spouse or a child) or
- were financially dependent on the loved one, or
- were nominated as the beneficiary by the loved one in super or insurance policy
If you want to find out if you are entitled to a death benefit, contact us and one of our team will be happy to help you understand where you stand free of charge.
Are there any time limits?
It’s important to act quickly, because if another family member or claimant lodges a claim then you may lose your entitlement to benefits.
How long will it take?
Generally, you will have your claim approved by the insurer within 4 weeks of lodgement. However, if there is a contest, where someone is disputing your claim, then it could take 3 to 6 months.
Can I dispute a Death Benefit given to someone else?
Yes. Some binding nominations can be disputed. For example, some funds require the nomination to be made to “a dependant”, and the definition of “dependant” can change from fund to fund. An ex-wife who met the definition at the time of the nomination may not meet the definition after a divorce or separation.
There’s no cut and dry answer and the law is complex, so contact us for a free consultation and one of our team can advise you.
I want to dispute a Death Benefit decision, are there any time limits?
Yes. There are strict time limits for disputing decisions so seek advice as soon as you can, especially if you have received notification of a claim decision from the super fund. Over the years we have successfully disputed Death Benefit claims for many clients who have not been properly represented, and had their claims declined.
Do I need a lawyer?
It’s in your best interest to get an expert to navigate this tricky area. In our experience, Super funds and insurers can make it difficult for self-represented claimants to get the benefits that they may be entitled to. We have seen cases where insurers have deliberately delayed the claim or rejected a claim on questionable grounds.
98% Success Rate
We win the overwhelming majority of our cases. This doesn’t just happen. It’s hard, diligent work that gets these results. We leave nothing to chance in preparing your claim, so you get what you’re entitled to.
In 2020, we were awarded “Superannuation and Life Insurance Law Firm of the Year in Australia” in the GBM Awards. Be confident your Death Benefit claim is in expert hands.
Death Benefit Law Specialists
We have a large team dealing exclusively with Death Benefits, headed up by Law Society Accredited Specialists. No matter how complex your claim is, we have the expertise to handle it successfully.
Our Unique Perspective
Many of our team worked for insurers before joining us, so we know how to cut through the strategies and tactics insurance companies might use to decline your claim.
4.9 Star Rating on Google
Don’t just take our word for it – look at independent Google reviews from our clients. In fact, we have the highest Google rating within the industry.
34 Offices Australia Wide
With offices all over Australia, we can help you wherever you are. And if you are too sick to travel, we can organise video conferencing, or come to you in person.
We have developed procedures that mean your claim can be lodged quickly, so you get to access your valuable benefits sooner.
Millions won for our clients
Here are some examples of our firm’s recent wins
$1 million benefit at risk after Chloe’s defacto partner dies
Chloe came to us when her young partner, (only in his 30s) suddenly died. He had no assets apart from a very large life insurance benefit, which was disputed by his family. We successfully argued Chloe’s case and as a result, the superannuation fund made a decision to pay $100% to our client. The family refused to give up the fight and appealed the super fund’s decision to the ombudsman (the Australian Financial Complaint Authority). Once again, we successfully argued Chloe’s case before this tribunal, which confirmed the super fund’s determination to pay the full benefit to Chloe. But the dispute did not end there as the family applied to Federal Court of Australia (AFCA). The basis of the family’s appeal was that the super fund made an error in its decision-making process and, as a result, its ruling should be overturned.
We all know that the chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and the risk to our client was that the family would successfully argue that, at some point, the super fund’s reasoning did not conform to the law. Since the benefit amount was so large, the case before AFCA needed to be prepared very carefully. We briefed one of the most senior barristers in Australia to appear on our client’s behalf. The case was argued in court for two days and in the end, AFCA decided in Chloe’s favour and awarded 100% of the benefit amount to her.
Tina’s defacto partner dies and her benefits claim is rejected by the insurer
Tina’s super fund made the decision to pay 100% of the benefits to her partner’s estate rather than her. The deceased had made a recent will which confirmed that the benefit should be paid to his relatives via the estate.
Tina thought this decision was unfair and contacted us for legal advice regarding her situation. It was obvious to us from the beginning that Tina’s case was far from straightforward because the law was mostly in favour of the estate. We realised that we had to think outside the box if Tina’s claim had any chance of success. Our team looked at similar cases decided by the courts and found exceptions to the rule. Eventually, we were able to establish that there was a loophole in Tina’s partner’s policy which allowed us to argue that the benefit should be paid directly to our client. The result – Tina was awarded 100% of the benefit amount when the original decision was overturned.
Daniella and Luke’s father passed away and the death benefit was almost lost
When their father passed away in his 50s, Daniella and Luke lodged a death benefit claim through his superannuation fund. Unfortunately, it was rejected because their father was in a defacto relationship at the time of his death.
With only a 28-day period in which to dispute the original decision, Daniella and Luke contacted us for legal advice. Once a determination like this is made by the super fund, overturning it is never easy. We knew from our past experience that the key was to shine a light on the relationship between their father and his defacto. We cast a net far and wide and were able to obtain enough evidence to establish that the relationship wasn’t as close as the defacto claimed. As a result, we were able to argue that it did not fit the definition of a true defacto partnership. We were able to complete our investigations and prepare detailed submissions in support of our clients’ claim before the 28-day deadline. The result – the original decision was overturned and Daniella and Luke received 100% of the benefit amount.
Parents win peace of mind and benefits against fraudulent defacto claim
When Arthur and his wife lost their son suddenly, their devastation was compounded when a woman claiming to be his defacto lodged a claim for his benefits. The son’s policy contained a clause which resulted in the defacto receiving 100% of the benefits. Arthur and his wife disputed the super fund’s decision but because they were not legally represented, the fund determined that only 20% of the benefit amount would be paid to them, with the remainder going to the defacto.
At this point, Arthur and his wife came to us for legal advice. They were suspicious about the claims the defacto was making about the relationship. Our lawyers only had 28 days in which to investigate, prepare and file an appeal to the original decision. We cast the net far and wide and were able to establish that the defacto was actually in a relationship with another partner. As part of our investigation, we obtained witness statements, emails, text messages and even Facebook posts, which corroborated our client’s case. In the end, Arthur and his wife were awarded 100% of the benefit instead of their original 20%.
We represented Shaun in claiming on his brother’s superannuation death benefits.
Shaun’s brother was estranged from their parents, where Shaun had assisted his brother financially through most of his life. Even though Shaun’s brother was estranged from his parents, his parents still attempted to claim on Shaun’s brothers superannuation and death benefits.
We were successful in providing that Shaun and his brother were in a “financial interdependency” relationship, which is normally only reserved for defacto / spouses.
These sort of matters are complex and require proper consideration of the fund’s Trust Deed and relevant legal principles at play. We never recommend our client’s to progress with their own claims when there are complexities with the fund’s Trust Deed.
We were happy that we won this claim for Shaun in claiming the benefits which his brother would have wanted him to have.
We helped Sonya claim her female spouse’s superannuation and death benefits.
The parents of Sonya’s partner were disputing her claim with the fund as they did not support their daughter and Sonya’s relationship choices.
The parents had evidence to prove that Sonya and her partner had separated for a period prior to her passing. This created complexities given that the superannuation fund is required to consider whether there is an ongoing expectation for the relationship continuing into the future. The deceased’s parents were arguing that given that Sonya and their daughter they were “off and on”, there was no evidence that they expected the relationship to be permanent.
However, we investigated and obtained evidence to prove that Sonya and her partner had in fact made plans for a future together. We reviewed the relevant law and found court cases with similar facts to prepare the claim to meet the elements that would be required to be considered by the courts in the event this was claim had to be litigated.
By showing the superannuation fund that we were ready to litigate this matter, we were successful in proving our client’s claim and winning full benefits for Sonya.
What to expect
Your Death Benefit Claim Process
- You get in touch You get the ball rolling by telling one of our team about your situation. It’s most likely that this lawyer is the person who will see our claim through to its successful completion.
- We investigate your loved one’s death benefits Your lawyer will get all the necessary details of the death benefits and get the documents necessary to lodge or dispute your claim.
- We meet to explain your entitlements Once your lawyer is across all the details of your cover, we will give you advice about what you are entitled to and how to proceed. We will also let you know if you might have other claims.
- We get evidence in support of your claim If you decide to engage us, your lawyer will start collecting evidence to support your relationship with the deceased. Your lawyer will also prepare detailed submissions based on the law applicable to your case.
- We prepare and submit your claim Your lawyer will complete all claim forms and send these to your fund/s together with other supporting material.
- Your Death Benefit claim is successful You tell your lawyer how you want to receive your benefit and we make sure that you get the money as soon as possible.
Work with our award winning team
Hear Janette speak about her story and how we figured out a way to help her.