What Happens To Your Assets When You Die?

One of the most controversial things in the eventuality of death is the question regarding estate administration.

An individual’s assets include bank savings, assets in building societies, insurance policies, property, car or cars, and personal effects such as household good.

Administration of personal property largely depends on whether an individual had drafted an exhaustive will or not.  The term will refers to a legally enforceable declaration by an individual (the testator) stating how his or her wealth will be distributed after his or her death. In this regard, an executor is an institution or a person mandated by the testator to implement the deceased’s wishes. Intestacy is the situation where an individual dies without having made a valid will.

Similarly, if a will is not found, the intestate legal procedures apply in estate administration . NSW has in place the relevant legislation regarding both situations. 

In NSW, certain legal procedures are paramount in the execution of the will.  To start with, the executor is supposed to find the will and provide a death certificate from the Registry of Births, Deaths, and Marriages. Such a person should pay the deceased’s income tax, funeral expenses and debts. If no executor was appointed or there occurs death of the executor before the testator, the court proceeds with the administration of the estate.


The distribution of assets requires being faithful to the instructions in the will.  A probate document is essential in such a process.  However, the executor needs to insert an advertisement before such a probate is granted.   Personal belongings can be disposed off to the beneficiaries. However, property and other fixed assets such as land may take a longer process to execute. 


In intestate cases the law of jurisdiction in which the person is domiciled at the occurrence of death determine the beneficiaries of the estates. The succession Act (2006) makes instructions on how the estate will be shared among eligible relatives. For a relative to receive a benefit in interstate assets, he or she must survive the intestate for 30 days. Letters of Administration are court orders that authorize assets to be administered in the absence of a will or an executor is not named. An affidavit of applicant for identifies the deceased’s eligible relatives and lists the assets and liabilities of the deceased. In case there are no surviving spouses or relatives, the assets may pass on to the government. 


In conclusion, the administration of an individual’s assets can be a simple procedure or a long, vigorous, and complicated procedure. It all depends on the preparedness of an individual for death. Preparing a will is a good way of ensuring an efficient estate administration after death. It helps in tax planning, appointing representatives, reduces conflict in estate administration, and helps one to share his or her assets according to the needs of the beneficiaries. NSW law encourages beneficiary to seek the assistance of an experienced estates lawyer like Greg Eliades

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