June 2021

The media has recently highlighted the proposed payment of a $180,000 superannuation benefit in the highly publicised relationship of a Victorian Magistrate and his court clerk, many years his junior. It drives home the importance of taking superannuation into consideration when making your will. Further, consideration of your options if you are not satisfied with a superannuation fund’s decision. Sadly, almost a year ago, the young court clerk died after being struck by a car. The superannuation fund is reported as indicating that it will pay the magistrate the super benefits on the basis that he was her de facto partner of some seven months. Apparently, there was a binding death nomination in favour of the deceased's mother. Most funds make provision for binding or non-binding death nominations (BDNs). In this instance, the superannuation fund has chosen to bypass that nomination. We understand that the fund's decision is being challenged. This is not a unique situation. Amongst the matters we are looking at in this area is one where 16 year old and 18 year old daughters have had minimal amounts been provided to them by the superannuation funds. Their father's superannuation funds have large superannuation benefits. The bulk of the benefits...

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