You’re Superannuation and where it goes when you die

A Magistrate facing public scrutiny for dating a court clerk 45 years his junior has been awarded the $180,000.00 superannuation death benefit of his late fiancé. Rodney Higgins contested that he should be eligible as her de facto partner and 'dependent', a claim which was accepted by Rest Super despite being nominated to go to Ashleigh Petrie's mother who was nominated as the beneficiary.

What is superannuation and how does it work?

Superannuation is a long-term savings plan that helps Australians prepare for retirement. There are two main types of superannuation: employer-sponsored and self-sponsored. Employer-sponsored super is contributions made by your employer on your behalf, while self-sponsored super is money that you elect to contribute from your own after-tax salary. Both types of Super are taxed at a lower rate than most other investments, making them a great way to save for the future. Superannuation is typically invested in a mix of growth assets such as shares and property, as well as defensive assets such as cash and fixed interest. This diversification helps to reduce risk and provide a more stable return over the long term. At retirement, you can either take your super as a lump sum or convert it into an income stream. Whether you choose to retire early or keep working into your 70s, superannuation can play an important role in ensuring you have a comfortable retirement.

How can you plan for your Super in advance of death?

As people live longer and healthier lives, many are finding that their retirement savings need to last them much longer than they had originally anticipated. For some, this means working longer or making lifestyle changes in order to make their money last. However, for others, planning for their super in advance of death can provide peace of mind and ensure that their loved ones are taken care of financially.

One way to plan for your super in advance of death is to have a frank discussion with your loved ones about your wishes. This can be a difficult conversation to have, but it is important to make sure that everyone is on the same page about your financial situation. You should also consider writing a will and naming a beneficiary for your superannuation. This will ensure that your wishes are carried out and that your loved ones are taken care of financially.

While it can be difficult to think about our own mortality, planning for our super in advance of death can provide peace of mind and ensure that our loved ones are taken care of financially. By having a frank discussion with our loved ones and writing a will, we can help make sure that our final wishes are carried out.

What happens to your superannuation when you die - will it go to your family or estate, or will it be donated to charity?

When you die, your superannuation does not automatically go to your family or estate. Instead, it is up to the trustees of your superannuation fund to decide how your benefits will be paid out. If you have not specified a beneficiary, the trustees will generally follow the rules set out in the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993. Under these rules, your benefits will first be paid to your dependents (e.g., spouse, child or financial dependent), and if there are no dependants, they will be paid to your estate. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if you are a member of a self-managed superannuation fund, the trustees may have different payout rules. Alternatively, you may have made a binding death benefit nomination specifying whom you would like to receive your benefits. If you have done this, the trustees must follow your wishes. Finally, it is also possible to donate your superannuation to charity. If you would like to do this, you need to specify a charitable organisation as a beneficiary in your will.

How can you make sure your loved ones receive your superannuation when you die?

Superannuation is an important part of many people's retirement planning, but it can be easy to forget about this asset when it comes to estate planning. If you die without specifying what should happen to your superannuation, it will be up to the trustees of the superannuation company to determine where your superannuation goes. However, there are several ways to make sure that your superannuation goes to the people you want to receive it. For example, you can specify a binding death benefit nomination, which ensures that your superannuation is paid to a specific beneficiary, however, to be valid, the binding death nomination must nominate an eligible person. You can also choose to roll over your superannuation into a Self-Managed Super Fund (SMSF), which gives you more control over how your assets are managed after your death. Whatever option you choose, it's important to plan so that your loved ones are taken care of when you're gone.

What are the tax implications of leaving your superannuation to someone else after you die?

For many people, their superannuation is their largest asset, so it's important to understand the tax implications of leaving it to someone else. Generally speaking, if you leave your superannuation to a spouse or dependent child, there will be lesser tax implications. However, if you leave it to someone else, such as a non-dependent child or sibling, they may be subject to income tax on the amount they receive. As a result, it's important to consider the tax implications of leaving your superannuation to someone else before making any decisions.

Superannuation can be a complex topic, but it’s important to understand the implications of how you set it up. If you want to make sure your loved ones receive your superannuation when you die, it’s best to speak with an estate planning lawyer who can help guide you through the process. At QC Law we have a team of experts who can assist with all aspects of estate planning – from wills and trusts to Powers of Attorney and superannuation. Contact the team at QC Law for all your legal needs at [email protected].