Skip to main content

Beneficiaries search (section 50)

When a person dies without a will you can ask us to search our records to see if they have been recorded as a parent to any children. This is known as a section 50 search. 

This search of our records can help decide who is entitled to the money, property, possessions and any debts of the person who has died (the estate).

What we can search

We search NSW birth register and check the names of people registered as parents to see if they match the information you provide. The search includes: 

  • women who have died, aged 12 to 60 and 
  • men who have died, aged 12 and above. 

If the person who has died was born in another country, we only search our records for the time they spent as a resident of NSW.

You can apply for a section 50 search if you are an executor, administrator or trustee of the estate of a deceased person.

You must provide a least 3 forms of current identity, one of each from Categories 1, 2 and 3. 

  • If you cannot provide proof of identity from Categories 1 and 2, you must still provide at least 3 forms of identity. At least two of these must be from Category 3.
  • If cannot meet these requirements, contact us for further advice. 

Category Identification documents
1

​If born in Australia:

  • An Australian birth certificate

Record of immigration status:

  • Citizenship certificate
  • New Zealand citizenship certificate together with passport

  • New Zealand birth certificate

2
  • ​Australia's driver's licence
  • Australian passport

  • Firearms licence

  • Foreign passport

  • Proof of age card

3
  • ​Medicare card
  • Centrelink or Department of Veterans Affairs card

  • Security/Crowd control licence

  • Tertiary education institution ID card

4
  • ​Recent utility account with current residential address (issued within last 3 months)

Period of Search

Standard service

Priority service

1 to 10 years

$59

$87    

11 to 20 years

$104

$132

21 to 30 years

$149 $177

31 to 40 years

$194 $222

41 to 50 years

$239 $267

51 to 60 years

$284 $312

61 to 70 years

$329 $357

71 to 80 years

$374 $402

81 to 90 years

$419 $447

All prices include postage & handling. Add $9 for international post.

Processing begins when we have received your complete and correct application.

  • Certificates are delivered by registered post and we have allowed a week for this in the times below. Estimated times may vary slightly.

Certificate request

Standard

Priority

​​Submitted by post

up to 4 weeks under 3 weeks

Registry agent (Service NSW)

up to 4 weeks under 3 weeks

 

Download and post your completed form (see form for address) and proof of identity to Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages or visit your nearest Service NSW centre.

If you are a solicitor applying for a section 50 search on behalf of a client you must provide:

  • a letter on company letterhead stating:
    • the name of your client and the nature of your representation
    • the reason for the search, such as probate or estate administration
    • the link between your client and the person whose name appears on the application form and
    • for estate matters, the relevant provisions of the Succession Act 2006 relating to eligibility.
  • completed Section 50 search application (PDF, 811.03 KB) (PDF, 811.03 KB) with your name as the applicant and
  • certified copy of your Law Society ID Card or practising certificate and
  • payment with a company or trust cheque or company credit card.

To learn more, see the information for solicitors and agents.

If you are not a legal practitioner but are the administrator or trustee of the estate, you must provide at least 3 forms of identification as per the requirements for proof of identity.

Related information

After a death

End of life

When someone dies, you need to make big decisions quickly. Our step-by-step guide will help you make the right decisions for you.

NSW Trustee and Guardian

Legal

Find out what to do when someone dies without a will.
Top of page