payment of legacies and transfer of specific assets

Payment of legacies and the transfer of specific assets provided for in the will of a deceased person does not occur immediately, it occurs when the estate is at the distribution stage and only if the estate is solvent and the legacies and assets have not been needed to pay off the debts of the deceased person.

As we have explained elsewhere , it is good practice to give a notice of intended distribution before commencing the transfer of assets of a deceased person.


If you are a beneficiary entitled to a legacy under an estate, if you do not receive payment with one (1) year of the death of the person, you can claim interest on the amount until such time as it is received. The rate of interest is currently calculated at 2% above the Reserve Bank of Australia cash rate.

Specific assets

How the transfer of specific assets occurs depends on what the asset is. For personal items such as furniture or jewellery, there is no formal transfer of ownership and it is generally a matter of the executor making arrangements with the beneficiary for the items to be collected.

For items such as cars, boats or motorcycles, it is necessary to arrange for the transfer of the registration with Roads and Maritime Services NSW.

It is important to be aware that superannuation does not form part of the estate of a deceased person and is dealt with separately.

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