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- Thinking Ahead Issue 4
Our People in Superannuation Advice and Services
Super Q & A
Q - Your previous newsletter provided information on superannuation and the taxes that apply on death. Doesn’t my will determine who will
receive my superannuation?
Jennie Lynn – Client Director, Bentleys NSW
A - It is a common misconception that the recipient of your superannuation benefit is determined by your will. Superannuation is held in trust for you and as such is not an asset that you have control over.
The trustee of the superannuation fund decides who will receive your benefit upon your death. If you are a member of a self-managed superannuation fund, you are usually well aware of where the benefit should be paid upon someone’s death due to the membership of these funds being made up predominantly of family groups. But if you are a member of a public offer superannuation fund, a group of trustees - whom you have never met - will decide who should receive your benefit.
A death benefit nomination provided to a super fund merely gives guidance to the trustee in their decision. However, a binding death benefit nomination will provide certainty that your wishes will be followed. A binding nomination must be witnessed and may lapse after 3 years.
In future issues we will discuss who can receive your superannuation benefit upon your death which includes your estate. Requesting that the trustee pay the benefit into your estate will mean that your superannuation benefit will be dealt with under the terms of your will.