*The contents in this blog relates to legislation in New South Wales.

Your superannuation entitlements could be quite significant when you die. You may not think so – but have you checked to see if your superannuation policy includes a life insurance death benefit? Your superannuation could be worth more than you thought.

If you want to control what happens to your superannuation entitlements when you die, this is what you should be aware of:

  1. Your superannuation death benefits are not always automatically paid in accordance with your Will.
  2. Every superannuation fund has their own rules about paying your superannuation death benefits. Most superannuation funds will allow you to sign a beneficiary nomination to direct what would happen to your entitlements. There are a few different types of nominations available.
  3. Most beneficiary nominations will lapse after three years unless the rules for the superannuation fund state otherwise. If in doubt, you should re-sign your nomination every three years to ensure it remains valid.
  4. Only certain people are eligible to be nominated as a beneficiary for your superannuation. If you nominate a person who is not eligible then the super fund will treat it as invalid. The super fund won’t necessarily tell you if your nomination is invalid and it may not become a problem until you have passed away.
  5. If you die without a valid nomination in place, your superannuation fund may make its own decision as to how to pay your entitlements. It may not be a decision that you would have agreed with. We have received many enquiries over the years from family members of a deceased person who have been upset by the decision of a superannuation fund. It can be very difficult to challenge a decision of a super fund.

At Turner Freeman, we recommend that every person give careful consideration to their superannuation and estate planning.

Call Turner Freeman today to arrange a consultation with one of our experienced Wills & Estates lawyers.