​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 |

Transferring personal property

If you have obtained a grant of probate or administration and published the Notice of Intended Distribution, or if a grant is not needed, you will need to transfer or deal with each item of personal property of the deceased after paying the debts of the deceased.

The personal property of the deceased may be dealt with in a will as part of the 'whole' estate, as specific gifts to named beneficiaries or as part of the 'remainder' (or 'residue').  If there is no will, the personal property is dealt with according to the rules of intestacy.

The 'remainder' of the estate is all property that is not specifically given to a beneficiary. Every will should contain a residuary clause which states which beneficiary is entitled to the remainder. If there is no such clause, the remainder of the estate is distributed according to the rules intestacy.

If more than one beneficiary is entitled to the remainder of the estate, those beneficiaries should discuss and try and reach an agreement about who will get particular items of personal property. If the beneficiaries cannot reach an agreement, they should consider going to mediation at a Community Justice Centre (CJC).

For more information, see the Mediation topic on our website.

There are many different types of personal property.  When you are gathering information about the estate, the various asset-holders should tell you what they require to transfer an asset. For example, they may not require probate or administration.  For more information see Working out assets and debts

    ​Clothing and household furniture

    Once you have identified who is entitled to the deceased's clothing, household furniture or other personal effects, you can arrange with that beneficiary to collect those items, as there is usually no formal process to transfer ownership.

    Icon - alert  Before distributing any item of personal property, you must ensure that there are no outstanding debts and the property is not subject to any finance contract.

    Bank Accounts

    Accounts in the deceased's name only

    Once you have identified who is entitled to receive money held in the deceased's bank account, you will need to contact the bank to make arrangements to either transfer or close the account. The bank may require a copy of the probate or administration. If the bank is willing to release funds without probate or administration, you may be required to sign an indemnity form.

    Icon - alert  Before signing any forms, you should get legal advice.

    Joint accounts

    If the deceased held joint bank accounts with another person, the other person is entitled to the money held in the account as the surviving account holder.

    To close the joint account, the surviving account holder will usually need to provide a certified copy of the death certificate to the bank, close the joint account and transfer the money to an account in their name only.

    For more information on applying to the bank to transfer or to close the deceased person's account, see Notifying the bank.

    Motor vehicles, boats or trailers

    After you have identified who is entitled to any motor vehicle, boats or trailers, you must contact NSW Roads & Maritime Services to transfer the registration. For more information see the RMS website.

    Icon - alert  If there is any finance owing on the vehicle, this must either be repaid or refinanced before the motor vehicle, boat or trailer can be transferred.

    Animals

    If the deceased had any animals, these are considered property and are dealt with in the same way as other personal property. You should contact the local council for information about transferring ownership of the animal. For more information see the Office of Local Government website.

    Superannuation and life insurance

    Superannuation is not part of the deceased person's estate and is dealt with separately. For more information see Superannuation.

    A life insurance benefit from one policy that is not more than $50,000 does not require probate or administration to be paid out by the insurer. If the deceased has life insurance contact the insurer or get legal advice. 

    Icon - alert  If you discover additional assets owned by the deceased after the distribution of the estate, you should get legal advice.