An interesting article in the Gold Coast Bulletin on 22 August 2017 emphasises the importance of having in place binding death nominations for superannuation and any insurance policies under your superannuation (‘superannuation benefits’).
The article notes that the children of the deceased were entitled only to a fraction of the deceased superannuation benefits, with the bulk (some $352,170.00) being paid to a woman whom the deceased had a comparatively new relationship. This was the case despite the deceased’s will providing for the entirety of the deceased estate to be passed to his ex-partner and the mother of his children.
Superannuation benefits do not form part of an estate unless a nomination is made to the legal representative of the estate. As such, superannuation trustees adhere to the binding death nominations as to payment of death benefits and in the absence of any nomination or if the nomination has not been validly renewed, there is a real risk that the death benefits or part thereof could be paid by the superannuation trustee to a beneficiary not intended by the deceased. This may very well have been the position with the above scenario where the deceased did not make any nomination to his superannuation trustee whom ultimately had discretion as to whom to pay his death benefits and which resulted in the new partner receiving the bulk of the benefits, to the detriment of his children.
We would encourage that you take note of this article, review your nominations with your superannuation trustee and your estate plan. To provide an incentive to take this initiative, Marino Law is offering until the end of October 2017, a 15% discount of professional fees for any clientele requiring assisting with estate planning matters.