One of the most important details to check next time you receive your Superannuation statement is that you have made a nominated a beneficiary – in effect, this tells the Superannuation provider who you want to pay your balance to in the event of your death.
There are different types of nominations. A non-binding nomination essentially notifies your superannuation fund of your intentions, and in the majority of cases, this will be carried out. However, with non-binding nominations, you need to remember that the superannuation fund has the discretion to pay the benefit to whomever it feels is appropriate.
For more certainty, by making a valid Binding nomination, the Superannuation fund must distribute your Superannuation according to your wishes. However, you must ensure that several rules are followed for the binding nomination to be valid – such as, it must be in favour of a dependant according to Superannuation Legislation (spouse, De-facto, child of any age or a financial dependant) – and must be renewed in writing every three years, and witnessed by 2 witnesses.
A third option is to direct the Superannuation fund to pay the benefit to your estate – in which case, a valid Will will direct the distribution to the beneficiaries.
The best option for an individual depends entirely on their personal circumstances – and should be discussed with your Financial Planner, in consultation with a solicitor if required.