Death Benefit Distribution Disputes

PUBLISHED 27 Dec 2019

If your loved one has passed away and held a Superannuation fund, you likely have many questions. It can be difficult to sort through benefits and paperwork in a time of grief, and this may be complicated if you have found reason to believe you may need to file a death benefit dispute. Here are a few things you need to know.

What happens to Superannuation when someone dies?

A Superannuation is not automatically made part of someone’s estate, and cannot be left in a Will – a super is held in its own trust with its own set of rules. As such, individuals should establish where they would like their super benefits to go upon their death, naming family members or other dependents as beneficiaries.

Once that individual has passed away, Superannuation funds will be paid out to beneficiaries in a lump-sum payment, including death insurance benefit payouts.

Who can receive Superannuation benefits?

An individual can leave their Superannuation benefits to individuals including:

  • Spouses, which include same-sex and defacto partners
  • A child or other dependent
  • A legal personal representative
  • Someone with whom they are interdependent, i.e.
  • Living together
  • Have a close personal relationship
  • Provide one another with personal care or financial and domestic support

What if I need to file a dispute?

Ideally, an individual will create a binding death benefit nomination to establish their loved ones as beneficiaries of their Superannuation. However, people aren’t perfect, and you may discover your loved one had not carried out this process before their death. Additionally, nominations for beneficiaries must be completed less than three years before their time of death, which means that even if your loved one names you as a beneficiary, you may run into complications if they did so many years ago.

If you believe you are entitled to death benefits from your loved one’s Superannuation, you may be able to file a dispute to gain access to those entitlements. This process can be a complicated one, made more difficult during a time of grief, which is why it’s important to work with the right legal professionals to ensure you’re getting the best legal care possible

At Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation Lawyers, we are confident in our ability to help you receive your entitlements and guide you through filing a claim during a difficult time in your life. Call us on 1800 004 878 or complete our email enquiry form to learn more.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts, or email your enquiry.