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Who does my Super benefit when I die?

By Tiffany Yeo – Trainee Solicitor Kingston Lawyers Melbourne

Superannuation is an increasingly important asset many Australians spend their working lives building up. Given how substantial superannuation can become, many people want to leave any remaining superannuation benefits to their loved ones.

However, did you know that your superannuation does not form part of your asset pool upon your death and is subject to different rules? This means that it will not always be distributed to who you intended in your Will but rather will be determined by the trustees of the superannuation fund.

To ensure certainty as to who receives your super benefit, you can nominate beneficiaries by creating a binding death benefit nomination. The benefit of creating a binding death benefit nomination is that the trustee will be required to distribute the death benefit to your nominated beneficiaries as directed by you. This can be revoked or changed whenever you wish.

Superannuation trustees can pay death benefits to nominated beneficiaries who are generally:

  • Dependants such as your spouse, children, persons that are financially dependent on you or have an interdependency relationship with you; or
  • your legal personal representative (LPR) such as the executor or administrator of your estate, who can then distribute the benefit as instructed by you in your Will.

By doing this, you have more control over who benefits from your remaining Super when you are gone.

You may also create a non-binding nomination which will be taken into account by the trustee, but the trustee will not be bound to follow it.

Your superannuation is an important asset to consider when thinking about drafting or updating your Will. Speak with a legal advisor to gain peace of mind that your estate is administered as you intended and ensure your loved ones are protected.

If you need help with your Wills, superannuation nominations or estate planning please contact the friendly team at Kingston Lawyers on 03 9585 6455.

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