Have you considered your superannuation when making a will?

Have you considered your superannuation when making a will?
2 October 2020

Have you considered your superannuation when making a will?

by Central QLD Conveyancing Centre

Did you know that superannuation and life insurance proceeds attached to your superannuation policies are not automatically covered by your will? It's always wise to consider your superannuation when making a will. The following persons are the only persons who can receive your superannuation on your death, and they can all put a claim in for your superannuation where you do not have a valid binding death benefit nomination in place at the time of your death:

  • any spouse, including a husband or wife you are separated from but not yet divorced from and a girlfriend or boyfriend you are living with as a de facto partner (even if you have only been living with them for a short period of time);
  • any of your children and step-children (which includes children of de facto partners). If you have children that are under 18 years of age, their parent or guardian can claim on their behalf (so, if you have young children from a former relationship, your ex-partner may be able to cause such a claim);
  • anyone who is financially dependent on you; and
  • your executor or legal personal representative on behalf of your estate or will.
Upon any of the above persons making a claim, it is up to the trustee of your Superannuation Fund to decide who out of those persons receive your death benefit and if more than one, in what proportions. There is a process that allows this decision to be contested. However, the reasons relevant to who ultimately ends up with your superannuation after a claim may not be in line with your personal wishes and values. In our experience,
  • your executor or legal personal representative (in order to be dealt with under your will or estate) is often considered as a last resort only if you do not have any spouse, children or dependents; and
  • spouses (including de facto) are often successful in priority to children, particularly adult children.
Therefore, if you have any wishes about any of the following, it is essential that you obtain appropriate estate planning advice:
  • who ends up with your superannuation interests on your death; or
  • wanting to exclude certain persons from receiving your superannuation interests; or
  • wanting any of your superannuation interests to go to someone other than a spouse, child or dependent such as siblings, friends, grandchildren, nieces, nephews or other family members.
For a binding death benefit nomination to be valid, it needs to be drafted appropriately, witnessed by two adults and not expired at the time of your death. For more information or to arrange an appointment, please contact us

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