Dealing With A Deceased Estate

Heard the term ‘deceased estate’ before, but are not sure exactly what it means?

When someone dies, any assets and/or debts they leave behind are known as their deceased estate.

In most cases, the deceased sets out how their estate is be distributed in a will, giving instructions on how to discharge their estate, and bequeathing their remaining assets to chosen beneficiaries.

A deceased estate is managed by an executor and administrator.  If the chosen executor does not wish to accept the role, they can ask a Public Trustee to act in their stead or file a renunciation with the Supreme Court in their state of residence.

When there is no valid will, a person is said to have died ‘intestate’ and the court will appoint an administrator to discharge their estate.

Assets and Liabilities

A deceased esate can consist of both assets and liabilities. An asset is anything which has value, from money in bank accounts and term deposits the family home and any investment properties, stocks and shares, and other investments. It also includes personal items including jewellery, vehicles, furniture and other household belongings.

Liabilities include any debt such as outstanding mortgages and personal loans, which are usually paid out of the proceeds of the estate. Liabilities also consist of any debt such as tax debt, unpaid child suppor and  ‘informal’ debts such as personal loans to family and friends.

These debts are paid in a certain order, beginning with taxes and other money owed to the government, with unsecured debts paid last and only if the estate has sufficient assets.

How is a deceased estate admininstered?

Have you been asked to administer a deceased estate?  This process begins with locating the deceased person’s will, and identifying any beneficiaries. The Public Trustee will usually meet with the beneficiaries to list all assets and liabilities, arrange for the payment of debts and taxes, distribute the proceeds of the estate and finalise any financial and administrative loose ends.

You may also be asked to sell a property or properties belonging to the deceased, in order to discharge any debts and distribute the proceeds amongst the beneficiaries.

Preparing a Deceased Estate Property for Sale

If you have been nominated as the executor of an estate, you may need to prepare the property of the deceased for sale, if this is what has been set out in the will of the deceased.

This can be a difficult and emotional task, especially if it’s the family home that is being sold, if the idea of selling has come as a shock or a surprise or there are differing opinions about the value of the property.

Appointing a real estate agent who can give objective advice and opinions can be helpful during this process. You will need to decide how the property is to be sold – either by private treaty, fixed date sale or by auction.

Your real estate agent will organise a marketing campaign, act as the intermediary between you and potential buyers, and prepare the legal paperwork that is required for the sale of a property.

To maximise the appeal of the property, you may also need to engage the services of a property staging company to show the property to its maximum advantage.

The beneficaries of a will can either share the task of sorting the belongings of the deceased, or this can be carried out by a company who specialise in this type of service.

Clothing, furniture, personal effects and papers can be distributed to beneficaries, family and friends, donated to charity or disposed of.  This is where an independent service can be of assistance, particulary if family and friends do not live close by.

Does this task seem overwhelming?

Blue Lighthouse Relocations can help. We provide a full management and clear-out service for deceased estates.

This includes completing itemised inventory reports, liaising with the executor of the estate, distributing items to family members and clearing out the house to prepare it for sale.

Let us help you manage a task that can seem especially stressful and overwhelming while you grieve the loss of a loved one.

As an established and growing provider of moving and relocation services throughout south-east Queensland, we offer services to suit a wide range of needs:


Our initial consultation to determine your needs is completely free of charge.

Get in touch today – we look forward to helping you.

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