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Who gets your Super when you die?

TL:DR - You need to nominate a beneficiary via your Super Fund.

What happens to your Super when you die?

Most reasonable people would expect that their Super would be included as an asset in their estate and as such be subject to the wishes detailed in their Last Will and Testament.

However that is not the case. Your superannuation is controlled by the trustee of your super-fund, and THEY get to decide where the funds go when you shuffle off.

So what's going on here?
Your Last Will and Testament dictates what happens to all the assets that you personally own. But the funds in your Super are actually owned by the Trustee - when you retire they kindly start giving some of it back to you. Under Australian law the trustee of the superfund decides who receives your superannuation death benefit.

The Trustee is not going to be around when your Will is read, so you need to tell them in advance who should get your super. Most funds have a form for this sitting on their website. So go and find it now and fill it out.

What if you have no nomination?
Quite often this will lead to the result you may hope for - ie the Trustee will decide to put the super assets into your estate to be distributed as per your Will. But there is no guarantee that will happen.

Of course most legal professionals have expensive lifestyles to support, so what could be handled quite simply - becomes a confusing maze of options. There are Binding and Non-Binding nominations, non-lapsing and lapsing nominations and, let's not forget the Reversionary nomination.

If you are a glutton for punishment there is good article about it here …

Otherwise give your Superfund a call and ask them what you need to do to ensure that your Super goes where you want it to.

N.B. We are not legal advisers and this is not legal advice - just our opinion - it may not be appropriate for you.

Free Will Registry for 2022

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