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Key decisions

  • McIntosh v McIntosh [2014] QSC 99
  • In the estate of Coombe [2014] SASC 37
  • Warton v Yeo [2014] NSWSC 494
  • Cossens v Petta [2014] WASC 117
  • In the application of NSW Trustee & Guardian [2014] NSWSC 423
  • Hobbes v NSW Trustee & Guardian [2014] NSWSC 570
  • In the Estate of Giovanni Antonio Tamburin [2014] SASC 58
  • In the Will of Warren [2014] QSC 101

Administrator’s conflict over superannuation

McIntosh v McIntosh [2014] QSC 99 concerned the manner in which the legal personal representative of a deceased should deal with the deceased’s superannuation death benefit. The intestate estate was worth $80,000 while the death benefits amounted to $453,000. There was no binding nomination but the administrator was the deceased’s non-binding nominated beneficiary. After being appointed the administrator, she claimed and, at the discretion of the trustees of the superannuation funds, was paid the death benefits. A beneficiary of the estate called on the administrator to account to the estate for the payments.

The court considered that there was a clear conflict between her duty as administrator (to apply for the death benefit on behalf of the beneficiaries of the estate) and interest (as claimant of the death benefit for herself personally). This was a breach of her fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the estate. She was required to account for the benefit she gained by reason of the breach. This meant that she was required to transfer the death benefit payment to the estate.

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