How to define beneficiaries

Founder and Publisher of the Switzer Report
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The super laws have their own set of definitions used to refer to people. It’s therefore very important that when you draw up your trust deed, you use the correct term for the person you intend to define. If you fail to do this, then your wishes may not be carried out to your expectations after death.

Here are some key definitions:

Dependants: Includes a member’s spouse, a child of the member and any person who has an interdependency relationship with the member (see below).

A child: Includes an adopted child, a stepchild, an ex-nuptial child, a child of the member’s spouse and a child of the member as determined under the Family Law Act 1975.

A spouse: Includes a person with whom the member is in a relationship registered under a State or Territory law or any person who lives with the member on a genuine domestic basis as a couple. It specifically includes same-sex spouses.

A married couple: A married couple will remain spouses until they are legally divorced. Separated couples who are not divorced are still considered spouses.

Interdependency relationships

An interdependency relationship is one between two people where they have a close personal relationship, live together and one or both provide financial support and domestic support and personal care.

However the following also have to be considered:

  • the duration of the relationship
  • whether or not a sexual relationship exists
  • the ownership, use and acquisition of property
  • the degree of mutual commitment to a shared life
  • the care and support of children
  • the reputation and public aspects of the relationship
  • the degree of emotional support
  • the extent to which the relationship is one of mere convenience
  • any evidence suggesting that the parties intend the relationship to be permanent

This list of requirements is designed to prevent certain types of relationships from being considered an interdependency. For example, parents and their children are not considered to be in an interdependency relationship.

What does legal personal representative mean?

Legal Personal Representative (LPR) means the executor, if there is one. If the executor is named in the will then they take up their role at the time of death. If there is no will or a person is not nominated then the court will appoint an administrator of the estate. Until this appointment is made the ‘public trustee’ administers the estate.

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