If you're the executor, administrator or trustee of a deceased person's estate, and you need to find out if the deceased is recorded as being a parent of any children, you can apply for a Section 50 search. This search is often used to find beneficiaries of a deceased's estate.
You can visit a service centre and lodge your application in person, or post the information.
- If the deceased was born overseas, only their time spent as a resident in NSW will be searched.
- Searches can be conducted for deceased females from ages 12 to 60, and for males from age 12 until death.
- If you're not a legal practitioner but are the administrator or trustee of the estate, you must provide 3 forms of your identification
- Where solicitors apply for certificates on behalf of clients, they must provide:
- a letter on company letterhead stating the reason required ('legal' is not sufficient; a specific reason is needed, such as Probate, Estate Administration), together with the name of the client the solicitor is acting for
- the letter must be accompanied by a completed application form and a copy of your Law Society ID Card or Practising Certificate
- the solicitor's name must be written in the Applicant's Details section
- payment must be made with a company or trust cheque, or company credit card.
What you need
- your personal and contact details
- your client's details
- the details of the search required
- 3 personal identity documents as specified on the form (if applicable)
- the PDF form – 'Apply for a Section 50 Search'.
How to apply
- Check the eligibility requirements
- Download and complete the Apply for a Section 50 Search – PDF.
- Make sure you have all the required documentation.
- Submit your application using the details on the form.
- Certificates are sent by the Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages via registered post. They cannot be collected at a service centre.
- Turnaround times commence when applications are received in full compliance with Registry requirements, and exclude delivery time.
- If you change your mind, or decide the certificate is no longer required, your application fee will not be refunded.
- Documents provided as proof of identity may have their authenticity verified through the online Certificate Validation Service (CertValid) and the National Document Verification Service (DVS).
Last updated: 7 December 2022