Inheriting Property from Parents: 6 Important Considerations

inheriting property from parents | Dandenong Family Lawyers

Inheriting Property from Parents: Understanding the Legal Process

When inheriting property from parents, the first step is to understand the legal process involved.

The property transfer typically occurs through a will, where the deceased parent’s estate is distributed according to their wishes.

If there is no will, the estate is distributed according to the intestacy laws of the state.

Assessing Capital Gains Tax (CGT) Implications

In Australia, inherited property can be subject to Capital Gains Tax (CGT). The CGT implications depend on various factors, including the date the property was acquired and the date it was inherited.

Generally, if the property was acquired by the deceased before 20 September 1985, it is exempt from CGT. For properties acquired after this date, CGT might be applicable upon sale.

Deciding Whether to Keep or Sell the Property

Deciding whether to keep or sell the inherited property is a significant decision influenced by various factors, including financial needs, emotional attachment, and the property’s condition and market value. Each option has its own set of benefits and drawbacks.

Managing the Inherited Property

If you decide to keep the property, managing it becomes a priority. This includes maintaining the property, handling rental arrangements if you choose to rent it out, and ensuring all legal and financial obligations are met.

Tax Considerations and Strategies

Inheriting property from parents can have various tax implications beyond Capital Gains Tax (CGT).

Understanding these tax considerations and employing strategic tax planning can help optimise the financial benefits of the inheritance. Here are some key tax aspects to consider:

Capital Gains Tax (CGT)

CGT generally applies when you sell an inherited property.

Properties acquired by the deceased before 20 September 1985 are exempt from CGT.

Properties acquired after this date may incur CGT based on the property’s market value at the time of inheritance.

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Stamp Duty Exemptions

In some cases, you may be eligible for a stamp duty exemption when transferring the property into your name.

These exemptions vary by state and territory, so it is important to check the specific regulations in your location.

Income Tax Considerations

If you decide to rent out the inherited property, the rental income will be subject to income tax.

Expenses related to maintaining the rental property, such as repairs, property management fees, and mortgage interest, can be claimed as tax deductions.

Main Residence Exemption

If you choose to live in the inherited property as your main residence, you may be eligible for a CGT exemption when you eventually sell the property.

This exemption can significantly reduce your tax liability.

Depreciation Deductions

If the inherited property is used as a rental property, depreciation deductions can be claimed on the building and any fixtures and fittings.

Depreciation deductions can reduce your taxable income and, consequently, your tax liability.

Tax Planning Strategies

Engage in strategic tax planning to optimise the financial benefits of the inheritance.

Consider the timing of any property sales to minimise CGT.

Explore options for transferring the property into a trust or other legal structures to manage tax liabilities.

Key Takeaway:

Consulting with a tax professional can provide tailored strategies to maximise the financial benefits and minimise the tax liabilities of inherited property.

Navigating Emotional and Family Dynamics

Inheriting property often involves navigating emotional and family dynamics, especially when multiple heirs are involved.

Clear communication and legal documentation can help prevent disputes and ensure a harmonious distribution of the inherited property.

Given the complexity of inheriting property, seeking professional advice from legal, financial, and tax advisors is advisable. Professional guidance ensures that all aspects of the inheritance are handled properly, maximising benefits and minimising potential issues.



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