Children lose out on $650K of mother’s Super!

Stepfather gets the lot!

The children got nothing and had to pay legal costs!

This was despite Mother’s will excluding the stepfather.

How did this happen?

Ioppolo & Hesford v Conti

In the recent case of Ioppolo & Hesford v Conti [2013] WASC 389, the late Francesca Conti expressly stated in her Will that she did not want any of her super benefits to be paid to her husband, Augusto Conti.

As at the date of Francesca’s death, there was no valid binding death benefit nomination in place.

The Court held that the corporate trustee of the self managed super fund, which was controlled by Augusto, was allowed to ignore the directions in Francesca’s Will and pay her entire super entitlement to Augusto. The children, unfortunately, are not entitled to any of the super benefits.

Reminders to Everyone!

Francesca’s failure to make a valid binding death benefit nomination resulted in a substantial financial loss to her children, not to mention the very costly family dispute.

Many of us regard our superannuation as part of our assets to be dealt with in our Wills. This is an incorrect perception. Superannuation benefit is not an estate asset.

It is critical that proper estate planning is in place to reflect our testamentary intentions.

Are you aware of your rights and obligations under your superannuation? Have you made a valid binding death benefit nomination?

Contact Bay Legal on (02) 9344 0682 to discuss your estate planning and your options.