What is a deceased estate?

It is never easy to cope with the loss of a loved one. Managing a deceased estates can be a difficult task. It is possible to ease the burden by being familiar with the process well in advance.

The estate is the sum of all assets and liabilities that a person leaves behind after they die. Your assets are your property and possessions that have value such as a house or car.

Most often, the will of the deceased has instructions about what should happen to the estate. Beneficiaries are the people who inherit the estate of the deceased.

A person’s estate is all of their assets, liabilities, and debts when they die.

Assets may include:

  • Bank accounts
  • Shares
  • Life and superannuation insurance policies
  • Real estate, such as a retirement village lease or nursing home bond
  • Personal property, such as jewellery and furniture.
  • Personal loans, credit cards, and mortgages are all examples of liabilities. Most liabilities are paid from the estate assets before being distributed to beneficiaries.

Who is responsible for the deceased estate?

An executor, also known as administrator or legal personal representative, is responsible for managing an estate. If a person has a will, the executor will be listed.

The legal representative ensures that the final wishes of the deceased are honored.

Some of their responsibilities include:

  • Arrange the funeral
  • Obtaining a death certificate
  • Application for letters or probate
  • In accordance with the territory or state, income tax and debts to be paid
  • Notifying the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), and other government agencies


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