When you’ve lost a loved one, the task before you in sorting through their affairs seems insurmountable. Navigating the differences in how each asset is treated is complex and overwhelming. We want you to know that we’re here to help.

Because a will can usually only dictate what happens to assets owned personally, most people dealing with the administration of an estate need guidance in understanding how assets [and even liabilities] are distinguished.

Broadly speaking, they are divided up into 2 types: estate assets and non-estate assets. It’s really important to understand the difference. Depending on their classification, items can have different rules for how they can be passed, and different parties have varying rights over them.

After identifying which category a particular item falls into, an audit should be done of each category to make sure each asset and liability that falls within it has been captured.

What sort of things do you need to think about? The phrase ‘how long is a piece of string’ is pretty accurate when describing the number of examples that can be given. Because each situation is very different from another, [having characteristics specific to that person and their circumstances], specific advice should be obtained before taking any steps.

We do however want to give you a bit of a heads up.

We’ve summarised the key points here in a downloadable form [including examples of assets and liabilities to be considered].

Don’t know who to contact? See our post and downloadable content on parties to notify when you lose a loved one.

General Advice Disclaimer

Information provided on this website is general in nature and does not constitute financial or legal advice. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, but information may become outdated as legislation and new government announcements are made. Individuals must not rely on this information to make a financial, investment or legal decision as it does not take into account their personal circumstance. Before making any decision, we recommend you consult a licensed advisor or legal practitioner to take into account your particular objectives, circumstances and individual needs.