When we buy property or other assets we generally give little or no thought to the legal ownership of that asset. Often we are swept away “in the moment” and don’t consider the various options or legal implications that may arise in the future. No thinks to ask the question, have I purchased in the correct legal structure? Is there a better way?
When a person dies, their assets are transferred to their legal personal representative (LPR) or are acquired by a surviving joint tenant, where the deceased owned those assets as joint tenants with another person. As there is a change of ownership a capital gains tax (CGT) event arises.
In my previous article I mentioned that if you inherit a dwelling and later sell or otherwise dispose of it, you may be exempt from capital gains tax (CGT), depending on when the deceased acquired the property, when they died and whether the property has been used to produce income (such as rent).
This checklist will help you manage the Australian tax affairs of someone who has died. If the deceased person's tax affairs included carrying on a business, you may need to seek further advice from Paris Financial otherwise these are the steps to follow when someone has died: