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Estate planning should include superannuation

Superannuation can make up a large proportion of a person's assets. Make sure it is accounted for in your estate plan.

There are a lot of things to consider when completing estate planning and drafting your will. One of these elements is your superannuation benefits. 

In May the Queensland Supreme Court made a decision on the superannuation benefits of a person who died intestate. The deceased had superannuation benefits that entitled him to the amount of $453,748.69. This amount was from three different funds. The net worth of the deceased's assets on the other hand was approximately $80,000.

The applicant and the respondent in this case were the mother and father of the deceased respectively. The mother applied for and was granted the Letters of Administration for the estate. She applied for the monies of each superannuation fund to be paid to her instead of to the estate.

Relying on Queensland intestacy laws of distribution, the father applied to the court for the assets to be divided equally between two parties. The QSC held that the applicant was to transfer the payments of the superannuation funds from her personal accounts to the estate of the deceased. 

Including your superannuation benefits in your will 

Your superannuation papers are one of the key documents you should have filed in your personal documents for the person who will manage your estate upon your death. Other important documents include your birth certificate, will, enduring power of attorney, house deeds, bank account details and insurance policies, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission explains.

Review the nominated beneficiaries on your superannuation policy on a regular basis. There may also be tax implications for your beneficiary – make sure you understand what these are. 

A lawyer can talk you through the documents you will need during estate planning to ensure that the person or persons you wish to have as a beneficiary receives the funds.