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It’s super, if you can claim it!

It is now much more likely that when someone dies they will still be a member of a superannuation fund.  Family members often find struggling with their loss and making a superannuation death benefits claims hard.  Making a claim involves engaging with the trustees of the super fund.   Whilst trustees have a responsibility to pay out the superannuation in good faith they are not mind-readers.  If a family member fails to provide them with good evidence for their claim, there is a risk that the claim will fail. It is more complicated for the trustees when there are multiple claimants.  Should the trustees, for example, pay out to a person claiming to be the deceased’s de facto spouse, to an adult child, or to a sister living with the deceased before they died?  Should the claim be split between those claimants?  Some common mistakes are for a parent to expect they will be automatically entitled to their child’s super or for an adult child to believe that they have the right to their parent’s super if the parent failed to support them when they were alive.  There are also tax considerations which are vital.  There are significant tax savings if the right claim is made. Key ingredients to a successful claim are to know the legal basis for a claim and to understand what facts the Trustee needs to make a proper decision.  Paying for legal advice on making a claim is a good investment.

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