mother handing key to daughterDeath doesn’t mean the end of everything, including your dwelling. It’s common among owners to pass them to the next of kin such as spouses and children. The reality is the inheritance law, especially in Queensland, can be complicated.

This article doesn’t in any way capture the entire picture of the succession and inheritance laws of the state, but it should give the introduction you need.

Tax on the Dwelling

Australia doesn’t have an inheritance tax, but it doesn’t mean the tax man won’t find a way to get a share of your estate. For example, it can levy a capital gains tax on the sale of an inherited dwelling. Whether you will pay partial, complete, or no tax at all depends on certain factors such as when you inherited the property or the purpose of the home. There’s also a separate rule when it comes to the sale of land, which is always subject to capital gains tax.

Mortgage

In Australia, your mortgage continues even after death. It’s a question of who pays it, the answer of which depends if you have a will. If you do, the person you appoint as the beneficiary of the house on mortgage needs to settle the remaining debt. If you don’t, it will become the responsibility of the consignee, who is often the spouse. You may also appoint a guarantor loan.

Property Succession without a Will

If you die without a will, the law describes it as intestate. Based on the Succession Act of 1981, the spouse, including a de facto partner (who can also be same sex), inherits the entire state unless there are issues or children. If there’s no spouse and only children, the latter received the estate on equal shares. If you have neither a spouse nor a child, the next of kin will be your parents followed by siblings and grandparents. The Crown can also get it if, for some reason, you don’t have any next of kin.

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Dying without a will can make family affairs very complicated, so to your loved one’s peace of mind, talk to a lawyer like Connolly Suthers who specialises in property law in QLD and draft a will, which you should update regularly.