Deceased estates
and superannuation

Deceased estates and superannuation

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Managing your super fund with your Will

Most of us have a superannuation balance with a super fund. In fact, superannuation is swiftly becoming a major asset for many people. When it comes to superannuation and Wills and estates, many assume that they own their superannuation and that it is dealt with by their Will. For this reason, superannuation is often overlooked by a Will maker.

In reality, your superannuation member balance is not owned by you personally—it's actually held by the trustee of your super fund on your behalf.

Superannuation is only dealt with by your Will if the trustee of the super fund elects to pay it to your estate. Superannuation can also be paid directly from the fund to your dependents without going through your estate.

Most super funds allow you to provide a nomination that tells the trustee of the super fund where you want your member balance paid at your death.

How is my super paid out?

Every superannuation fund has its own rules about how a member balance is paid out. Some funds offer different kinds of nominations, so that you can influence control over your superannuation, including the following:

  • A non-lapsing binding nomination: this is like a Will for your superannuation, and states that your superannuation must be paid in a certain way, and the nomination does not need to be renewed.
  • A binding nomination: similar to the above, but automatically lapses after a fixed period, usually three years.
  • A non-binding nomination: this gives the trustee of your superannuation fund a preference for whom you would want to receive the death benefit, but is not binding to them. This means that at the time of your death the trustee of your super fund determines who the death benefit should be paid to.

Whether you prepare a nomination, and whom you should nominate, depends on your personal circumstances and what your fund allows you to do.

If you have any questions about the best course of action for you, contact Maurice Blackburn today to speak with an expert in this field.

Get help with your Will, trust or estate issue

If you need help with any matters relating to superannuation or to a Will, trust or estate, Maurice Blackburn can help. 98% of our Wills, trusts and estates cases are settled without ever having to go to court.

We are a national firm with offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Darwin and throughout Australia. Contact us today to speak to an expert Wills dispute lawyer and find out how we can help you.

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