Normally superannuation is not an asset of a deceased persons estate. The superannuation Trustee holds the funds for the deceased (called a member… in his or her life time). On death the Trustee holds the funds on behalf of the deceased’s family. The trustee is bound by federal law to distribute the funds in a controlled and legal manner. The Trustee must follow the terms and conditions of the Superannuation Trust Deed and also the Superannuation Act.

Disputes often arise in this process however usually they are not actually Will disputes but rather Superannuation disputes with the Trustee about the proportion of distribution to family members. The Trustee usually has discretion as to where the funds should be given unless before death the deceased had provided the Trustee with a Binding Death Nomination setting out details of who should receive the funds.

The Trustee can only follow the Binding Nomination if the document complies with the Superannuation Act. Otherwise the funds will have to be given to the executor or administrator of the estate and distributed in accordance with the Will.

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