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DBA Lawyers’ new streamlined BDBN service

DBA Lawyers is pleased to announce a new streamlined service for binding death benefit nominations (BDBNs).

This service involves one of our expert SMSF lawyers reviewing the member’s instructions for their proposed BDBN based on a comprehensive order form (see here). We then prepare tailored documentation for an indefinite non-lapsing binding nomination in accordance with the High Court’s landmark decision in Hill v Zuda Pty Ltd [2022] HCA 21.


A BDBN is a direction made by a member to their superannuation fund trustee requiring the trustee to pay the member’s superannuation death benefits in a certain way, eg, to:

  • the member’s dependants; and/or
  • the member’s legal personal representative (ie, the executor of the member’s will).

DBA Lawyers’ BDBN service allows a fund member to record their binding directions to the SMSF trustee using a cascading structure (ie, based on first tier and second tier directions). For example, in the event that a nominated dependant in the first tier predeceases the member, the benefit will be paid based on the directions in the second tier which could specify the LPR and/or other dependants.

What’s included

Our BDBN documents include the following:

  • Covering letter and BDBN completion checklist.
  • The member’s nomination.
  • Trustee resolutions.
  • Notification letter.
  • Memo outlining key information on BDBNs.


The price for the BDBN service is $1,250 including GST per member/fund.

Click here for further information or to place an order.

Our free template remains available

For completeness, we note that DBA Lawyers continues to offer a free value-added template BDBN form as part of our SMSF documents. However, this does not include any lawyer review of the completed template.

This form is provided at the back of the product disclosure statement provided to each fund member as part of our new SMSF and SMSF deed update documents.

The template remains a popular option for many of our clients.

SMSF governing rules

The BDBN service requires a DBA Lawyers’ SMSF deed to be in place which is no more than 5 years old. Click here for further information on obtaining an SMSF deed update or to place an order.

Many SMSFs have numerous documents forming part of the fund’s deed history (including any change of trustee documents). Note that all prior documents impact the effectiveness of subsequent documents. Thus, if there is any shortcoming or issue with the fund’s deed history, these shortcomings or issues can undermine the effectiveness of BDBNs and other strategies.

If there is any doubt whatsoever regarding the integrity of a fund’s document trail, expert advice and assistance should be obtained. For instance, we regularly advise SMSFs and carry out rectification work in relation to SMSFs with document trail issues. Several popular services we offer in this regard include:

  • SMSF Deed History Review –– broadly, this service involves an SMSF lawyer undertaking a review of the fund’s deed history to determine whether there are any weaknesses that need rectifying.
  • SMSF Lost Deed Service –– broadly, this service involves an SMSF lawyer preparing documents to minimise risk where an SMSF has one or more lost prior deeds.

Overcoming the risks of using non-qualified suppliers

DBA Lawyers’ experience has shown that many documents sourced from non-qualified suppliers often do not stand up to legal scrutiny, leaving clients exposed to risks, including in relation to their BDBN strategies being on ‘shaky ground’.

Deficient documents can result in expensive and protracted legal battles, and members potentially having their super proceeds paid otherwise than intended.

Advisers and end-users who elect to use DBA Lawyers’ BDBN service can have confidence and peace of mind that they are obtaining a BDBN solution of the highest calibre from a law firm that has expertise in the field of SMSFs, succession planning and tax.


DBA Lawyers is proud to introduce its new streamlined BDBN service that is designed to provide our valued clients with a robust and legally sound solution for their superannuation death benefit planning needs.

BDBNs can be a powerful and important tool in a member’s succession planning toolkit when done correctly. Having a BDBN prepared by an expert SMSF law firm provides assurance that the job is done properly and to the highest legal standards.

DBA Lawyers also offers a range of consulting services in relation to SMSF succession planning and we would be pleased to provide assistance if so instructed.

For further information or to explore our services, please visit our website or get in touch with our team.

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This article is for general information only and should not be relied upon without first seeking advice from an appropriately qualified professional. The above does not constitute financial product advice. Financial product advice can only be obtained from a licenced financial adviser under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).

Note: DBA Lawyers presents monthly online SMSF training. For more details or to register, visit or call 03 9092 9400.

For more information regarding how DBA Lawyers can assist in your SMSF practice, visit

By William Fettes ([email protected]), Senior Associate, and Daniel Butler ([email protected]), Director, DBA Lawyers


2 October 2023

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