The significance of the location of your assets

While succession laws vary between the states and territories in Australia, all Australian jurisdictions allow a Will-maker to dispose of their property as they wish.

If you have a Will, the location of the property within Australia is usually irrelevant. For example, a resident of New South Wales, can freely distribute their home in Sydney, their holiday home in Queensland or commercial property in Victoria through their Will. Other non-real estate assets (e.g. shares or bank accounts) held in different states can also be freely distributed.

The location of your assets is relevant if you die without a Will. In this situation, the effect will depend on what type of asset it is. For non-real estate assets, the rules of the jurisdiction in which you lived will apply to the distribution. For real estate assets, the rules of the jurisdiction in which the property is located will apply to the distribution.

Although the location of the assets within Australia usually does not affect your power to distribute the assets under your Will, you should seek further advice if you own assets in other countries.

Generally, there should not be any issues with distributing assets under a Will in another country that has similar succession laws as Australia. Countries such as England, New Zealand and the United States of America have similar succession laws as Australia.

However, not all countries allow individuals to freely distribute their assets under a Will. Some countries in Europe and South America require certain assets to be distributed in a particular way.

Need help?

If you have any questions in relation to the above, please contact our team of Lawyers at The Quinn Group on (02) 9223 9166 or submit an online enquiry form today.