TAS Deceased Estate and Executor of Will Obligations?

Australia's #1 for Law
Join 150,000 Australians every month. Ask a question, respond to a question and better understand the law today!
FREE - Join Now

Ms L

12 February 2016
I am a co-executor of my father's deceased estate. He owned a reasonably new car (3 years old). I am also a beneficiary of the estate.

What are my obligations as the executor of will in relation to the car? Do I sell it and allocate funds back to the estate, or can the car be given to a beneficiary without impacting on the final $ amount distributed via the estate? Is the car deemed to be an asset to be sold or a goods and chattel that can be distributed at the discretion of the executors?

Jacqui Brauman

Well-Known Member
15 January 2016
The car technically falls within the definition of chattels. However, there's no rule that the value of chattels shouldn't be recovered - chattels are only distributed if their value is negligible. So you should either sell the car and have the money distributed as part of the estate, or if you give it to a beneficiary you should have it valued and they will get slightly less cash be because they got the value of the car as part of their share.


I agree with Jacqui, either sell it and distribute profits as part of estate or if a beneficiary wishes to take the car and less cash (proportionate to the value of the car) then you can do it that way. You have discretion to decide as executor how you will distribute estate.

Tim W

LawTap Verified
28 April 2014
Assuming that the/any debts of the deceased can be met without selling the car, and
that there are no provisions in the will expressly gifting the car to someone in particular,
then you are free to sell it as described above.

I would add that your duty as an Executor is to get the best possible price for it.
So don't sell it cheap on the open market, nor to Cousin Oliver at an unjustifiable discount.