A client of mine was recently approached by his brother to sign a one page form which would allow the brother to receive his Deceased mother’s superannuation death benefit payment in full.
The background is as follows:
- My client’s mother chose not to leave a binding death benefit nomination on her superannuation monies before she passed away;
- My client’s brother (who did not like my client), advised my client that he would lodge the claim on behalf of both himself and my client, and when the monies were received, it would be split equally.
- My client’s brother then lodged the superannuation death benefit claim (without providing a copy of the completed claim form to my client).
- The Trustee made a decision to pay 100% of the monies to my client’s brother.
- My client’s brother asked him to sign a form agreeing that he had no objection to the payment.
As a result, I recommended to my client that:
- By signing the form, he would be agreeing with the Trustee to pay 100% of the superannuation monies to his brother, and would have to rely on the word of his brother to split the monies.
- He and his brother should both lodge separate claims, or joint claim to protect their respective interests (with both brothers agreeing to claim 50% of the benefits respectively);
- He should object to the Trustee’s decision and lodge his own claim to protect his interests.
During the objection process, it soon became clear that my client’s brother had no intention of splitting their mother’s superannuation death benefits and intended to claim the entire amount himself.
My client lodged the objection and received 50% of his late mother’s superannuation death benefits.
It is also important to recognize that consideration of your superannuation is an essential element in estate planning.
If you require assistance with objecting to a superannuation Trustee or Board decision to pay a loved one’s death benefits, or need assistance with your estate planning, please do not hesitate to contact me.