Wills & Estate planning

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Estate Planning And Superannuation

Superannuation has always been an issue for estate planning and remains so because the rules have changed. Wills only deal with personal assets, not assets owned by a superannuation fund that the deceased controlled.  It is now possible to accumulate substantial wealth in superannuation, and leave it there until a member dies.  Where these funds go when a member dies is not legally directed by the terms of a person’s will.  Superannuation funds have their own rules for paying out a deceased member’s entitlements.

Superannuation death benefits can only be paid to the estate of a deceased member when:

  • the superannuation fund’s trust deed stipulates that payments on death must go to the estate (which is not a common provision);
  • the superannuation fund’s trust deed gives the superannuation fund trustee a discretion
  • the fund allows members to make binding nominations and a member has nominated his or her estate; or
  • the member has signed a Death Benefit Agreement directing where the benefits must go.

To navigate this complex landscape effectively and ensure that your superannuation is distributed according to your wishes, consulting a qualified wills and estates lawyer is highly advisable. These legal experts have the knowledge and experience to help you create a comprehensive estate plan that aligns with the latest regulations and safeguards your assets for your loved ones. For more information and personalized guidance, contact a reputable wills and estates lawyer.

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