When someone dies, their superannuation account is usually one of the first things to be sorted out. If you're not sure how to go about finding and claiming a deceased person's superannuation in Australia, don't worry - we'll walk you through it. This blog post will explain what happens to a deceased person's superannuation and provide tips on finding and claiming it.
How to Find a Superannuation Fund
The first step in finding a deceased person's superannuation is to locate their super fund. You can do this by looking at past tax returns, bank statements, or any other documents with the person's name on them. If you're unsure where to start, you can try contacting the deceased person's former employer or the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
Once you've located the deceased person's super fund, you'll need to contact them and provide proof of death. Typically, you can provide a copy of the deceased person's death certificate or an extract from the Register of Deaths. The super fund will then provide you with a deceased member's superannuation payout form, which you will need to complete and return.
How to Claim a Superannuation Death Benefit
If you're the deceased person's executor or administrator, you can claim the payout on their behalf. To do so, you'll need to provide the following documents:
- a copy of the deceased person's death certificate
- a completed and signed deceased member's superannuation payout form
- proof of your identity (e.g. driver's licence, passport)
- proof of your authority to claim the benefit (e.g. executor or administrator's letter of appointment)
Once you've submitted all required documents, the super fund will process your claim and send you the payout. However, if you're not the deceased person's executor or administrator, you can still claim the payout - but you'll need to provide a completed and signed deceased member's superannuation nomination form. This form authorises someone else to receive the benefit on the deceased person's behalf.
Binding vs non-binding beneficiaries
When a deceased person's superannuation is paid, it goes to either binding or non-binding beneficiaries. Binding beneficiaries are legally entitled to receive the benefit, while non-binding beneficiaries are not legally entitled but have been nominated by the deceased person.
If there is no binding beneficiary and the payout isn't claimed within six months, the super fund will pay it to the deceased's estate. This can be a complicated process, so it's best to seek legal advice if you're unsure what to do.
Tax on superannuation Death Benefits
Death benefits from superannuation are usually tax-free, but there are a few exceptions. For example, if the deceased person was over 60 years old when they died and had their superannuation paid out as a lump sum, the benefit will be subject to tax.
The same applies if the payout is made to a non-binding beneficiary who is not the deceased person's spouse or child. If you're unsure whether or not the deceased person's superannuation payout is taxable, it's best to speak to an accountant or tax specialist.
Claiming a deceased person's superannuation in Australia is not as straightforward as it might seem. With this guide, you can understand how to claim a superannuation death benefit and the tax implications when making the claim.
To start writing your Will online, visit willed.com.au.