​ሕግንና ደንብን በተመለከተ እርዳታ ማግኘት ይፈልጋሉን? - Amharic | هل تحتاج لمساعدة قانونية؟ - Arabic | ܤܢܝܼܩܵܐ ܝ݇ܘ̤ܬ ܠܗܲܝܵܪܬܵܐ ܩܵܢܘܿܢܵܝܬܵܐ؟ - Assyrian | Need Legal Help? - Auslan | Treba li vam pravna pomoc? - Bosnian | Burmese â Need Legal Help? | 需要法律帮助吗? - Chinese Simplified | 需要法律幫助嗎? - Chinese Traditional | Trebate li pravnu pomoć? - Croatian | ضرورت به کمک قانونی دارید؟ - Dari | Wïc Kuɔɔny në Wɛ̈t Löŋ? - Dinka | آیا به کمک حقوقی نیاز دارید؟ - Farsi | Gadreva na Veivuke Vakalawa? - Fijian | Kailangan ninyo ba ng tulong na panglegal? - Filipino | Besoin d’aide juridique ? - French | Χρειάζεστε βοήθεια σε νομικά ζητήματα - Greek | क्या आपको कानूनी सलाह चाहिए? - Hindi | Butuhkan Bantuan dalam Masalah Hukum? - Indonesian | Hai bisogno di assistenza legale? - Italian | ត្រូវការជំនួយលើបញ្ហាផ្លូវច្បាប់ឬទេ? - Khmer | 법적인 도움이 필요하십니까? - Korean | Ви треба ли помош со правни работи? - Macedonian | कानूनी सहयोग चाहिएको छ? - Nepalese | Necessita de ajuda com questões jurídicas? - Portuguese | Вам нужна юридическая помощь? - Russian | E Manaomia Fesoasoani i Mea Tau Tulafono? - Samoan | а ли вам треба помоћ у правним питањима? - Serbian | Ma u baahan tahay Caawimmad xagga sharciga ah?- Somali | ¿Necesita ayuda con cuestiones jurídicas? - Spanish | சட்ட உதவி தேவையா? - Tamil | ท่านต้องการความช่วยเหลือทางด้านกฎหมายไหม? - Thai | Fiema’u ha tokoni Fakalao? - Tongan | Yasal Danışmaya İhtiyacınız mı var? - Turkish | Cần Được Giúp Đỡ Về Luật Pháp? - Vietnamese |

Working out assets and debts 

    What are assets and debts?

    'Assets' include all property that a person owns such as a home, money, car, shares, bank accounts, clothing, household furniture and pets. Debts are what a person owes, such as a home loan, personal loan or credit card.

    After someone dies, the executor or next of kin will need to make enquiries to find out details of the assets and debts of the deceased.

    Once you have gathered all the information, you must work out the value of the assets owned by the deceased.

    Icon: Hint   If you have difficulty finding out details of the deceased's assets and debts, you could contact the deceased person's accountant if they had one.

    Icon - alert   If you cannot locate information about the deceased's assets and debts, you should get legal advice.

    It is important to find out the assets and debts of the deceased in order to work out whether it is necessary to apply to the Supreme Court of New South Wales for a grant of probate or letters of administration.

    For information about applying for probate or letters of administration, see What to do with the estate.

    Calculating the assets and debts of the deceased

    There are a number of ways you can find out about assets and debts of the deceased. You may need to search for various documents to calculate the value of assets and debts. You may also need to ask other family members to help you sort through the paperwork to find information about the assets and debts of the deceased.

    Accounts

    Look for bank statements, passbooks, debit cards and credit card statements. Write to financial institutions to find out the balance of the deceased's accounts.​

    Property

    If the deceased owned a house, land or unit, you should obtain a title search from Land and Property Information NSW or ask a lawyer to obtain one for you. In order to obtain a title search, you will need the lot and plan number for the property which you can get from a council rates notice or the local council, if you know the address of the property. Land & Property Information NSW charges a fee to conduct a title search. You will need to obtain a title search for each property owned by the deceased.

    For more information about fees, go to the search fees section of the Land & Property Information​ NSW website.

    A title search will show you whether the deceased owned the property in their own name or with another person as 'joint tenants' or 'tenants in common'.

    The title search will also give you information about whether the property is mortgaged with a bank or financial institution. If the property is mortgaged, the Certificate of Title (also called 'title deeds') will be kept by the bank. If the property is not mortgaged, you will have to search for the original Certificate of Title. You can start by checking the deceased's home, make enquiries with the deceased's former solicitor or local solicitors in the area or check if it is held by the bank in safe custody.

    If you cannot locate the original certificate of title you must apply to Land and Property Information NSW for a replacement certificate of title.

    Vehicles

    If the deceased owned a car, motorcycle, caravan or trailer, you must find out the registration details and insurance policies.

    You should also find out the value of the vehicle from a licensed motor dealer or valuer.

    Shares and dividends

    If the deceased owned shares or dividends, you will need to contact the share registry of the company or Computershare Australia Investor Services to find out the value of the shares.

    Icon - alert  If the deceased owned a lot of assets you should consider obtaining a professional valuation report for a fee.

    Pets

    If the deceased owned a pet they may have included some information in their will about who will take care of the animal. If the deceased did not have a will or did not provide for their pet in their will, you should get legal advice. Animals must not be left without proper arrangements for their immediate care and welfare.

    Icon - alert  You may need to contact your Local Council to check requirements to transfer ownership of registered animals, such as dogs and cats. For more information you can contact the Office of Local Government.

    Icon - alert  Some animals cannot be kept as a pet without a licence. If the deceased person's pet is a native Australian animal, including native birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, then you should contact the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage for further information. ​