What happens if a partner dies?

The PRA also covers division of property when a relationship ends because one partner dies.

Under the PRA, the surviving partner (married, civil union or de facto) can choose either to claim a half-share of relationship property under the PRA

(Option A), or to accept what they have been left in their partner's will or, if there is no will, the share set by the Administration Act (Option B). If no choice is made, any surviving partner is assumed to have chosen Option B.

Even where a marriage or civil union is of short duration, the equal sharing regime can apply on death unless the court considers that would be unjust.

De facto partners in a relationship of short duration can make a claim on death only if there is a child of the relationship or the surviving partner has made a significant contribution to the relationship, and it would cause serious injustice not to allow them to claim. In these cases, the property would be divided according to contribution to the relationship, not on the basis of equal sharing.

More information about Relationship Property

Dividing property if your relationship ends

Equal sharing

Who's covered by the Act?

Relationship Property v Separate Property

What happens if a partner dies?

What about debts?