Source Information New South Wales, Australia, Index to Deceased Estate Files, 1859-1958 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2013.
Original data: New South Wales Government. Stamp Duties Office. Indexes to deceased estate files. Series 13341. The State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia.

© the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales and is used under licence with the permission of the State Records Authority. The State of New South Wales gives no warranty regarding the data's accuracy, completeness, currency or suitability for any particular purpose.

About New South Wales, Australia, Index to Deceased Estate Files, 1859-1958

Using the collection

Records in the collection may include the following information:

  • Name of the deceased
  • File number
  • Place of residence
  • Date of death
  • Occupation
  • Value of estate
  • Name of Administrator of Estate
  • this collection is an index, the file number listed in these records is a useful tool for tracking other types of probate records. Probate refers to the legal actions taken to administer the estates of the deceased. The file number may help you find wills, duty paid files, and other records of probate.

    In many cases, especially rural areas, addresses may not have been available. Often, only the town name is available. However, even knowing the name of the town can provide clues about where your ancestor lived.

    These records list an Administrator of Estate. Keep in mind, the Administrator of Estate may or may not have been related to the deceased. An Administrator of the Estate is similar in role to an Executor of Estate, except that an executor is chosen by the deceased and an administrator is appointed if a will can’t be found. Administrators to the Estate may be family members, lawyers, or officials appointed by the state.

    Collection in context

    Before a will could be executed in New South Wales, the beneficiaries of an estate had to pay an inheritance tax known as a death duty. However, death duties were not consistently collected until the passing of The Stamp Act Duties of 1880. The Stamp Act Duties of 1880 was later replaced by The Stamp Act Duties of 1920. The rates of taxation varied by estate value and relationship to the deceased. The Stamp Act Duties of 1920 allowed widows and minors to pay death duties at half the tax rate. Inheritance tax was abolished across Australia in 1981.


    NSW State Archives & Records. "Deceased Estates Index." Last modified December 6, 2015.

    NSW State Archives & Records. "Deceased Estates Guide." Last modified February 12, 2017.