The Importance of Binding Nominations on Superannuation and the Correct Terminology when Directing a Payment to the Estate
For many Australian’s, superannuation (including any attached death benefit) is the biggest asset they leave behind for their loved ones. Equally, many people are unaware that without making a binding nomination on their superannuation, they simply do not know who will end up receiving such sum.
To put it simply, if you pass away without a binding nomination in place, the superannuation fund will determine the recipient of such funds. This may not be consistent with your wishes. Therefore it is critical that you take steps to ensure that you have a binding nominated beneficiary attached to your super policy.
In certain circumstances, a person has a preference for their superannuation to be paid to their estate so that the funds are distributed in accordance with the terms of the deceased’s Will.
The 2015 decision in Munro v Munro outlined the importance of using the correct terminology when directing a payment of superannuation to the estate. In this case the deceased nominated the “Trustee of Deceased Estate” as the beneficiary of his superannuation benefit.
Her honour Mullins J found that the nomination was not valid because it did not nominate either the legal personal representative of the estate or a dependant. The Trustee of a deceased estate is not the legal personal representative.
Often the terms ‘executor’, ‘legal personal representative’ and ‘trustee’ are used interchangeably however Munro v Munro demonstrates the importance of the accuracy required in this area.
Do not risk your superannuation death benefit, being potentially your greatest asset, ending up in the hands of someone you did not wish to benefit.
Contact us on 3816 9555 or by email at [email protected] to arrange an appointment with Rebekah Sanfuentes to ensure your superannuation will be paid to your intended beneficiary.