For many Australians, their superannuation savings may be one of their most substantial (if not often thought about) assets. Unlike other assets though, your superannuation benefits do not automatically form part of your estate when you pass away, and so cannot be disposed of through your Will.

In order to properly ensure that your super goes where you want it to, you need to make a binding death nomination with your superannuation fund. This is normally quite straightforward to do, and can be done online through your super account. 

The death benefit includes the total amount of money in your super account at the time of death plus any life insurance cover through the super fund.

If you do not make a binding death nomination, the trustee of the superannuation fund will usually decide whether the benefits are paid directly to one or more of your dependants, or to your estate.

For super death benefits, dependants will include: 

  • your spouse (including de-facto partners)
  • your children
  • people with whom you had an interdependency relationship
  • people who depend on you financially

If you are unsure of how your superannuation or death benefits will be dealt with or you require further information about binding nominations, we recommend that you seek independent advice from your superannuation provider and/or a suitably qualified legal professional, and, if necessary, consult with a financial advisor.

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