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It’s quite common for people to inherit shares from a family member who has passed away. While some individuals inheriting shares may be familiar with the stock market, many others will be owning shares for the very first time, uncertain as to how they should best handle their newfound situation. Whether you decide to immediately sell your shares, or hold onto them as a long-term investment, it’s best to seek out the advice of a professional who can offer you guidance around the implications of each decision.
No – Inherited shares are often bequeathed as a result of a deceased estate, whereas gifted shares arise from a voluntary transfer of shares from one shareholder to another. Shares can be gifted by completing an ‘Off-Market Transfer Form’ which can be obtained from either your holding broker or the company’s share registry. In Australia you don’t have to pay any tax when you inherit shares, but you may be liable for capital gains tax (CGT) if you sell them. When shares are gifted on the other hand, the change in beneficial ownership is treated as a CGT event, and any profits until that point of ownership will likely incur CGT.
If you have inherited shares, and they have been transferred from a deceased estate into your own name, this will be a straightforward share sale by an individual person. If the shares are still held in the name of the deceased estate, you will need to follow the deceased estate share sale process and provide us with a certified copy of the probate or certified copies of the will and death certificate.