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Inheriting Property

Inheriting Property In  Australia

Inheriting Property in Australia even if you are living in another country is not longer a problem. Times have changed and it is now easier than ever for people to live in countries different from where they were born. This often raises the question of what happens if you are living in another country but inherit property from a spouse or partner who is living in Australia.

In Australia a person is entitled to make whatever decisions they want about who will receive their property when they die. There is no law that automatically makes any loved one a beneficiary of your Estate. However, there is an avenue available for your loved ones if they believe they have been unfairly left out of your Will called a family provision claim.

If you inherit property in Australia the first thing that you need to do is seek the expert legal advice from an Australian Wills and Estates lawyer who has experience in dealing with non-Australian residents inheriting property in Australia.

Inheriting Property In Australia

The main issue that may arise from inheriting property in Australia is whether your inheritance will be subject to Capital Gains Tax. Capital Gains Tax is an Australian tax on real estate or shares that may be payable when you sell these assets. The tax is calculated on the difference between the purchase price of the real estate or shares and the price for which you sell the real estate or the shares.

Generally, when an Australian resident inherits real estate or shares from a deceased Estate they will be exempt from paying any Capital Gains Tax on the sale of the asset, if certain conditions are met.

When a non-Australian resident inherits real estate or shares from an Australian resident then they may not be able to access the Capital Gains Tax exemptions available to Australian residents. Whether Capital Gains Tax will be payable can often depend on how your loved one has set up your inheritance in their Will. If they were unaware that Capital Gains Tax was payable by foreign residents on inheriting property in Australia then you may be subject to a costly tax bill from the Australian Government.

If your loved one sought expert legal advice when drafting their Will then you may be able to minimise the impact on Capital Gains Tax on your inheritance.

If you have inherited property in Australia and are not an Australian resident then you need to seek expert legal advice on whether Capital Gains Tax is payable if you sell the real estate or shares and, if it is payable, whether there are any avenues available to minimise the impact on the value of your inheritance.

Graeme Heckenberg is an expert Wills & Estates lawyer and guides and advises clients on a wide range of Wills and Estate matters including inheriting real estate, shares and other property in Australia. If you are living on the Northern Beaches and surrounding Peninsula and need expert advice call The Northern Beaches Lawyer today for an appointment close to home.

Call 9221 0341 or email info@hecken.com.au

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