I was reading a recent case yesterday about a lady whose husband passed away with no will, a small estate, $500k in super and no binding death benefit nomination.

She applied for letters of administration, but she also asked the super fund to pay all of the super to herself.

Unfortunately, this put her in a conflict situation.  As Administrator of the estate, she had a duty to maximise the estate, which would involve her asking the super fund to send the money to the estate.  If this were to happen, having no children, part of the super would go to her late husband’s mother and brother, so she had to apply to the court to have herself removed as administrator and an independent solicitor was appointed in her place.

They would then each have to have a fight with the super fund about where the proceeds should be sent, which will end up being a lottery and the solicitor will be charging for his time out of the proceeds of the estate.

Of course all of this could have been avoided with a Binding Death Benefit Nomination and a Will that dealt with any super proceeds paid into the estate, in accordance with the testator’s wishes.

For Wills and properly Binding Death Benefit Nominations, see Michael Paterson & Associates

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