To whom are life insurance benefits payable?

If a (term) life insurance policy does not list a nominated beneficiary the proceeds are paid to the policy owner.  Where the life insured is the policy owner, the proceeds are paid directly to their estate. Life insurance benefits paid to a deceased estate may be subject to a family provision claim.

If a beneficiary has been nominated, the proceeds of the life policy are paid directly to the nominated beneficiary, and do not form part of the deceased's estate.

Life insurance within superannuation is owned by the superannuation fund, therefore the proceeds are paid to the superannuation fund. Life insurance benefits paid to a superannuation fund are typically added to the deceased member's superannuation interest.  The superannuation fund's trustee will determine how much and to whom superannuation death benefits are paid. Please refer to our superannuation death benefits section for more details.