What are Chattels?

What are Chattels and why is it important for the value to be known for the sake of the beneficiaries?

Chattels are commonly defined as “moveable property”. In terms of a deceased estate ‘chattels’ will include the personal property of the deceased such as furniture, jewellery and personal items and other property not including real property.

It is important for the value of a deceased’s chattels to be known, as it will affect the beneficiaries of the deceased’s Estate in a number of ways.

Capital Gains Tax

Capital Gains Tax is a tax on the difference between the value of the asset when the deceased bought it and the value of the asset when you received it under the Will.

It is important to know the value of chattels of the deceased so that the beneficiaries are able to ascertain whether there is any Capital Gains Tax payable, or whether the chattels are exempt from Capital Gains Tax. For example, most personal use chattels such as furniture are exempt from Capital Gains Tax, as long as their value was less than the statutory amount when they were purchased by the deceased. However, some collectible items such as jewelry and artwork may be liable to Capital Gains Tax.

Intestate Estates

If the deceased died without a valid Will, then the deceased’s Estate will be distributed in accordance with the laws of intestacy set out in the Succession Act. The value of the chattels in the Estate will need to be known, in order for the distribution to statutory beneficiaries. Depending on the intended beneficiaries the statutory rules leave assets of a certain value to the deceased person’s spouse (in certain circumstances)which requires the value of the assets of the deceased to be known.

Family Provision Claims

If the Estate is subject to a family provision claim, then it is also important that the value of the chattels are known so that the Court can ascertain the value of the Estate when making orders to vary the distribution under the Will.

If you are a beneficiary under a Will and have been gifted with a Chattel of the deceased then you should talk to an expert Wills and Estates lawyer on the effect of this inheritance. In particular why it is important to know the value of the chattels received by you and any other beneficiaries of the Estate.

At Heckenberg Lawyers we don’t take our clients’ confidence for granted: we work hard to earn it by providing an efficient, cost-effective service, which puts your interests first and doesn’t cut corners. We take pride in achieving repeat custom and winning clients by word of mouth recommendation.

If you need advice about a Will or an Estate matter please call 02 9221 2779 or email info@hecken.com.au to arrange an initial consultation with principal lawyer Graeme Heckenberg at our centrally located Sydney offices.

See our Will Dispute Lawyer & Contesting Wills page for more information on the Wills & Estates services we provide or contact us for advice specific to your situation.

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Samuel Burns
Samuel Burns
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As the executor of an estate, I engaged Graeme and his team to handle a family provision claim and probate matter. I found Graeme to be professional and knowledgeable. Throughout the entire process, Graeme treated all parties involved with respect. He was always willing to take my concerns onboard and never pushy. I find legal matters highly stressful. Having Graeme and his team guide the process helped ease the stress and achieve a fair resolution for all involved. Highly recommended.
Sonja Psaroudis
Sonja Psaroudis
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If you need legal representation in a matter to do with Wills & Estate law I highly recommend Graeme, Blaise and the whole team at Heckenberg. Their knowledge and expertise in this area of the law was a huge comfort at a very difficult time, saving all parties involved time and money in the long run. Thanks again!
Donna Hodges
Donna Hodges
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Blaise was extremely professional in assisting with all matters to do with my fathers estate and probate. She made an extremely complex process very easy to understand and instilled great confidence at a difficult personal time for our family.
Kim Pink
Kim Pink
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I found Heckenberg Lawyers to be very professional and knowledgeable. Graeme took the time and explained the entire process to me. He was never pushy nor was he just after "his cut" as so many other practices are. He was at all times looking out for the best interest of the estate and not wanting it to be eaten. I found his staff to be extremely thorough and attentive. I would have no hesitations to recommend this practice if you want the best outcome possible.
Jane Araneda
Jane Araneda
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Thanks to Graeme, Blaise and their team at Heckenberg Lawyers for helping us finalise our matter in a timely manner. They were always very helpful and professional. They took care of everything very well, which meant that there was no added stress on me and my family.
Alan Barringham
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Graeme and his team were extremely competent and efficient in resolving our estate claim.
Olma Mignacca
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Graeme is trustworthy and thorough. His charges were reasonable and easily understood. The team was considerate and helpful.
Vicki Johnson
Vicki Johnson
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Graeme and his team are very professional and experienced. We are very grateful for the way they handled our case.
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