A Binding Nomination is a legal declaration made by a policyholder of a superannuation fund or life insurance policy, specifying who the policy beneficiaries will be in the event of the policyholder's death. This nomination is legally binding, meaning the trustees of the superannuation fund or the insurance company must distribute the death benefit according to the policyholder's instructions.
- Legally Binding: Unlike a non-binding nomination, a binding nomination provides certainty about who will receive the death benefit. The trustees or insurance company must follow the policyholder's instructions.
- Expiry: Binding nominations typically have an expiry date, often three years from when they were first made or last confirmed. Policyholders need to renew their binding nominations regularly.
- Eligible Beneficiaries: Policyholders can nominate one or more dependents (spouse, children, etc.) or legal personal representatives as beneficiaries. The definition of a dependent can vary, so it's important to check the specific terms of the policy.
- Formal Requirements: To be valid, a binding nomination must meet certain formal requirements, such as being in writing, signed and dated by the policyholder in the presence of two witnesses.
A Binding Nomination gives policyholders control over who will receive their death benefit. Without a valid binding nomination, the trustees or insurance company has discretion over who receives the benefit, which can lead to delays and disputes.
While a Binding Nomination provides certainty, it may not always be the best choice for everyone. For example, if a policyholder's circumstances change (e.g., marriage, divorce, birth of a child), they need to remember to update their binding nomination. If they don't, the death benefit may not be distributed as they would have wished.
A Binding Nomination is a powerful tool for estate planning. It provides policyholders with the assurance that their death benefit will be distributed according to their wishes. However, it's essential to seek legal and financial advice to ensure that a Binding Nomination aligns with the policyholder's overall estate planning strategy.