Superannuation has become one of the major financial assets that many people will accumulate in their lifetime. Due to the importance of this asset (which often has life insurance attached to it, making it even more significant), it is imperative to know how it is dealt with if you should pass away.
Many people assume that superannuation will form part of their estate and be dealt with by their Will along with all their other assets, but this is not necessarily the case.
Superannuation is held in a trust structure – this means that there is a Trustee. For employer schemes, the trustee is usually a large institution. In the case of self-managed funds, the trustee could be a person or a private company.
When a member of the fund dies, the trustee of the superfund often has a discretion (if this power is given to it by the Trust Deed, which it normally is) to pay out the super entitlements as the Trustee sees fit. The trustee does not necessarily have to follow the wishes set down in the deceased member’s Will.
Talk to the experienced lawyers at BigLaw to see what you can do to ensure that your wishes in regards to distribution of this important asset are followed.