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Key decisions

  • MZY v RYI [2019] QSC 89
  • SM [2019] WASAT 22
  • Case number 601401
  • D18-19\132 [2019] SCTA 21
  • Spink v Russell [2019] QCA 107
  • Re MP’s Statutory Will [2019] NSWSC 331
  • Re MP’s Statutory Will (No. 2) [2019] NSWSC 491
  • Legal Services Commissioner v Ronald Aubrey Lawson [2019] QCAT 100
  • The Hospital v S (a minor) [2019] NSWSC 64

Various issues with superannuation death benefits

Court ordered binding death benefit nomination (‘BDBN’)

SGA is 30 years old, has significant assets (with the majority in superannuation) and no will. She has never had testamentary capacity. She has ongoing health issues which require full personal care and constant supervision. Her mother, MZY, applied for a court ordered will. The Court outlined the terms of the will it was prepared to approve and directed the applicant to draft it (MZY v RYI [2019] QSC 89 (Wilson J)). The part of the decision which caught my attention concerned orders that the applicant sign a BDBN in favour of SGA’s estate. The Court observed that such orders had been made in similar circumstances, cited two earlier decisions, noted that there were no published reasons in either case, and did not identify the basis for the Court’s jurisdiction to make the order (at [245]–[249]. (Because the superannuation fund is a trust, the Court’s jurisdiction may be sourced to its role to oversee the administration of trusts. Even so, there are issues about the exercise of the jurisdiction where the trustee of the fund was not a party to the proceedings and the terms of the fund’s trust deed were not examined.) The Court ordered that the trustee of the superannuation fund accept the nomination, although the trustee was not a party to the proceedings.

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