Friends With Money #8: Understanding who can inherit your super

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Super. We all have it and should all be doing our best to look after it. For the most part, our thoughts revolve around how much we actually have in our superannuation accounts, how much it has grown over time, or where it is invested. Then there are the benefits of organising insurance through your super, the life insurance component of which can represent a large sum of money intended to look after those left behind.

But who can you nominate as a super beneficiary? What if you're single, widowed, or have a blended family?

Who you choose to nominate as a superannuation beneficiary has become an increasingly important issue with more and more instances of superannuation benefits being challenged in the courts.

friends with money podcast super beneficiaries

One recent example of this is the tragic case of Ashleigh Petrie who had allegedly tried to leave her superannuation death benefit to her struggling mother, only to have her 68-year-old magistrate fiancé successfully challenge the payout.

In this episode of the Friends With Money podcast, Julia Newbould is joined by Peter Bobbin, principal of Coleman Greig Lawyers, to discuss who you should nominate as a superannuation beneficiary, the difference between a binding and non-binding nomination, and whether or not your will can override your choice.

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Julia Newbould was editor-at-large and later managing editor of Money from November 2019 to February 2022. She was previously editor of Financial Planning and Super Review magazines; managing editor at InvestorInfo and at Morningstar Australia. Julia co-authored The Joy of Money, a book on women and personal finance. She holds a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Sydney where she serves on the alumni council.

Peter Bobbin has more than 30 years' experience as a lawyer and holds degrees in accounting and law from UNSW and a Master's in taxation from UWS. He is a Chartered Tax Advisor and the Australian chair of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners. A principal of Coleman Greig Lawyers, Peter is a former accountant and former lecturer in superannuation and state taxes at UWS.
Stephen Winnett
August 12, 2021 12.35pm

Many thanks for this informative podcast although some points were at odds with legal advice that I have recently received. A very important point that was missed was how an inheritance to various dependents, beneficiaries - either direct or via the estate - is treated by the ATO