Can we manage your Life Insurance and Super fund Beneficiary Nomination for you?
Yes, we can.
This is another one of our most asked about questions.
Understanding how to keep track of your insurance policy nominations can feel a little like rocket science.
You probably already know that when you take out a typical Life Insurance policy, you have the option to nominate anyone you like as the beneficiary(s) to the policy, so they can receive any future payout if you unexpectedly pass away.
- Standard Life insurance payouts are usually paid tax free to your nominated beneficiary.
But did you know that if the Life Insurance policy is paid from a super fund, you are restricted to who you can nominate as a beneficiary, and there may be significant taxation complications too?
- Super Life insurance payouts are taxed unless the person you nominate is an eligible beneficiary under the tax laws.
Are you one of the many people who have lost track of their beneficiary information?
Do you have an existing Life Insurance policy or perhaps a Super account with insurance you've lost touch with?
- Maybe you haven’t nominated a beneficiary to your life insurance policy or super account?
- Have you forgotten who you did nominate and now need to update your wishes?
- Did you nominate a previous partner from a past relationship and now need to (urgently) update your nomination instructions?
- Have you recently divorced or separated, or
- You may have forgotten a binding nomination needs to be renewed every three years?
If this sounds like you, it sounds like you could benefit from our Update My Life & Super Beneficiary Nominations Service.
Making a beneficiary nomination is separate to making a Will
Making a beneficiary nomination is something you can do today that will make a significant difference to your loved ones. It can give your chosen beneficiary a level of protected financial security outside the reach of any relatives and biological family members who may try and challenge a Will and seek to erase your partner's rights.
- If you're one of the 76% of Australians who don’t yet have a Will, the government usually appoints an administrator and applies its own set of rules (called Rules of Intestacy) to decide who gets what in your estate – and you probably won’t like those rules.
- To make matters worse these Intestacy laws are not uniform Australian wide so it’s a bit of a hit-and-miss affair and can become a source of heartache and sorrow for the modern Australian Family.
Why everyone needs to make a beneficiary nomination
Most people know that a Will takes care of your estate assets; like a house, vehicle, personal assets and artworks and collectibles etc.
- What many people often don’t know is that Life insurance payouts and Super account payouts are usually considered non-estate assets and therefore do not form part of your Will and the assets it controls.
- This means if something does not form part of your estate, it's not covered by your Will — and cannot be challenged with your Will.
A Life Insurance policy or Superannuation account with a nominated beneficiary can provide an inheritance for your loved ones that biological family members cannot take away from them. This is because beneficiary nominations take priority over Wills, because they’re separate legally binding documents.
Who can I nominate as my Life Insurance beneficiary?
Anyone you want.
Who can I nominate as my Super Life Insurance beneficiary?
Your super can only be paid out to an eligible beneficiary.
- Dependents can include your spouse or de facto partner (regardless of gender), your children (biological, adopted, step and ex-nuptial), or someone (regardless of gender) with whom you have an interdependency relationship. In most cases, siblings are not considered dependents for super purposes unless financially dependent upon you.
- You can also leave your super to a financial dependent, which may include someone who relies on you to meet daily living expenses such as rent, utilities and household outgoings. This also covers anyone who shares your major financial commitments such as mortgage
To be able to prove a person is financially dependent upon you and eligible to receive your super death payout tax free, they have to show they are ‘financially dependent' upon you - at the time of your death.
Without expert assistance from the specialists at Unusual Risks, this can be very difficult.
Practical Issues many LGBTQI+ people face
Not everyone is Out, fully Out or wants to be or safely can be.
- So often the most significant people in our lives, are not always legally known and adequately provided for in either our Life Insurance policy or Superannuation account beneficiary nominations. This is usually because nobody has taken the time to show us how to make provision for the people we love and protect our privacy at the same time.
Some people in the LGBTQI+ Community have complex past relationships
When past relationships have ended, sometimes it can take longer to unwind ourselves from their effects and we simply may have forgotten to update our legal documents and policy nominations.
- Because Life Insurance and Super account payouts are not automatically included with your Will (the technical term is non-estate asset) nominating your Life Insurance and Super account beneficiary directly can be a powerful way to keep funds outside your Will and away from the reach of those who may seek to challenge your Will and estate later.
If you've changed Partners since your last nomination was made and you haven't yet updated your nomination, your former partner (and not your current one), could be entitled to the balance of your super fund payout.
More complex issues LGBTQI+ people face
- If you're a Co-parent of non-biological children and not living with them, additional legal advice might be needed as the child of a lesbian co-mother or gay co-father will have to prove financial dependence.
- If you're part of a couple who are Living Apart Together you might not qualify under these definitions and additional legal advice might be needed.
- If you're part of a Polyamorous relationship, you might not qualify under these definitions and additional legal advice might be needed.
Let's face the truth about discrimination and intolerance in many biological families
Each LGBTQI+ person may have differing levels of support from their own biological family.
- Often LGBTQI+ people need to take special actions to protect ourselves and our partners from our biological families.
- Sadly, many LGBTQI+ people have biological families who are not supportive or just downright homophobic, biphobic or transphobic.
- Many biological families have rejected their LGBTQI+ family member (either as a child or adult child) and are selectively intolerant, and even hostile towards their family member's partner and family of choice.
Some may even seek to deny next of kin rights to our partner or even attempt to erase our existence or our partners existence, should we unexpectedly pass away.
Where there’s a Will, there’s a relative.
We have seen some straight families who appeared initially supportive of their LGBTQI+ children, change overnight when opportunistic siblings decided to challenge their absence in a Will, after their LGBTIQ+ relative unexpectedly passed away.
- It’s fair to say, not everyone behaves their best when facing grief, and money.
Case study – past relationships (and paperwork)
Terry separated from her former husband and took the children interstate to start a new life in a same-sex relationship leaving her old life behind in a small narrow-minded country town.
The eventual divorce was traumatic as was the move interstate away from her support network of friends and her children began to experience difficulty integrating into a new school and explaining the fact of them now having two mums.
- In the busyness of their new beginning, Terry simply forgot to update the beneficiary nomination in her life insurance policy. It wasn’t until her partner Francine was reading a blog article from Unusual Risks Insured about Super Beneficiaries and started the conversation across the family dinner table.
- It came as a shock with the realisation that by not making a replacement beneficiary nomination, Terry’s former husband was still listed as sole beneficiary to Terry’s super fund balance - which included $1,200,000 of Life Insurance cover.
The following morning, Terry transferred her existing life insurance policy to Unusual Risks Insured to manage for her using the Transfer & Manage My Existing Life Insurance Policy service and immediately updated her Life Insurance Beneficiary nominations naming Francine and the children as sole beneficiaries.
A potential disaster averted, and a new relationship protected. With this issue now off their mind, they can work together to help the kids settle down into a happier life.
Why do people need a beneficiary nomination service?
Life is busy and navigating relationships can be complicated.
Add to this the ever-changing tax laws and you can accidentally find yourself leaving a Life Insurance policy payout to someone you no longer want to. And you can also forget to make allowances for the potential tax bill involved.
Relax. We have a solution for these types of problems.
- LGBTQI+ people are often faced with each partner having differing levels of support from their own biological families and each partner may have a different level of comfort about being Out or not.
- This imbalance can feel particularly uncomfortable when it comes to speaking with biological family members or considering speaking with a Financial Adviser for the first time.
Getting your beneficiary nominations sorted is just one more thing you can do to bring more certainty and equality to your relationships, and at Unusual Risks Insured, we’d love to help you with that.