Is your Super in your Will?

It is a common misconception that when you die, your hard earned and treasured Superannuation savings contained in your Superannuation Members account form part of your Estate and will be distributed to the beneficiaries nominated in your Will.  However, that is not necessarily so.

In a nutshell, unless the Superannuation Fund prohibits it, you can direct the Super Fund Trustee to pay your Superannuation Members Death Benefit Entitlement by way of a document called a Binding (or non-Binding) Death Benefit Nomination (or similar form of agreement or directive) to specified beneficiaries, usually loved ones such as spouses, partners, children etc. or directly to your personal representatives (namely the Executor or Executors named in your last Will ) for payment or distribution to your estate.

For example, it is common for a Binding Death Benefit Nomination or similar directive to nominate a surviving spouse or partner in the first instance or, if that person has already died, then the personal representatives named in your last Will.

If you do not nominate your personal representatives (your estate) to receive your superannuation member’s death benefit, either initially or successively, the relevant superannuation proceeds may never reach your estate and can therefore never be dealt with pursuant to your Will.

Whilst in this day and age, superannuation fund savings and entitlements frequently form a substantial part of a person’s overall asset value, the manner of dealing with such entitlements, upon death, becomes supremely important and should be a primary point of discussion and consideration when making a new Will.

IAN GRIFFITHS