Estate Planning, Superannuation

Court rules on injured child BDBN

The Supreme Court of Queensland recently made a significant ruling on who is authorised to establish a binding death benefit nomination (BDBN) for an adult child with a disability.

The court determined the child’s mother could make a BDBN following on from the authority it granted her to make a will for the child.

The case centred on a child aged 30 who had severe brain injuries resulting from medical negligence during his birth.

Legal action was taken in light of this medical negligence and the child was awarded a significant sum of money in compensation. A large portion of the payout was contributed to the child’s superannuation fund.

The contribution was deemed to have been made from a structured settlement and as such was not limited in its dollar amount, and was not classified as concessional or non-concessional and as such was not subject to any applicable caps.

The magnitude of the contribution meant the child’s superannuation benefit was substantial and in turn triggered the potential need for the child to have a BDBN.

The compensation also resulted in the child having considerable wealth outside the super system, prompting the need for a will to be made for him.

The court authorised the proposed will for the child and held that the amount in the child’s superannuation fund deemed it necessary to also have a BDBN.

The court relied on its ‘related orders’ jurisdiction in making its order, conferring power on the child’s mother to implement a BDBN.

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