inheritance

Inheriting money from overseas

Information verified correct on December 9th, 2016

Your options for transferring an inheritance to Australia.

If you’ve been left an inheritance from overseas, unless otherwise stated, you don’t need to pay any tax on it. Instead, you should focus on getting the best rate for the international money transfer. You have three options when transferring money to Australia.

Options for transferring an inheritance to Australia

Bank cheques and bank transfers are the most common ways to inherit money from overseas, but using an international money transfer company is another option to consider.

Bank cheque

Commonly, the executor of the overseas estate will give you a bank cheque that you can deposit in your Australian bank account. The cheque should be made out in the foreign currency and will be subject to the exchange rate your bank offers when you deposit the cheque.

Compared to the other international transfer methods discussed on this page, a bank cheque takes the longest time to clear.

Bank transfer

You can also arrange for the estate executor to deposit your inheritance directly into your Australian bank account.
An international bank transfer is quicker than waiting for a cheque to clear, but the money transfer will still be subject to the bank’s exchange rate.

International money transfer company

Another option is to use an international money transfer company. These companies specialise in foreign exchange and provide a bank-beating rate.

Although there are a few extra steps involved in setting up an account with an international money transfer company, depending on the amount being sent, you could save thousands of dollars.

Which international money transfer company should I use?

Use the comparison table to find out which international money transfer company is going to give you the best rate. You can enter the amount you’re set to inherit and select the currency you wish to convert.

Click the table heading to sort the international money transfer companies by features such as the exchange rate, transfer time and transfer fee.

Rates last updated December 9th, 2016
Description Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Services Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received
TorFX International Money Transfers
TorFX International Money Transfers
TorFX guarantee to beat any competitor's exchange rate for a transaction
Conditions apply
AUD 200 1 day Online, Phone, Agent Go to site More
Exclusive: World First Foreign Exchange
Exclusive: World First Foreign Exchange
Exclusive offer: $0 transfer fee
Transfer money into a range of currencies online and over the phone.
AUD 500 2 days Online, Phone Go to site More
Exclusive: CurrencyFair International Money Transfers
Exclusive: CurrencyFair International Money Transfers
Exclusive offer: 3 Free transfers (after your first transfer).
A peer-to-peer transfer service with a large range of currencies on offer.
EUR 8 2 days Online Go to site More
FC Exchange International Money Transfers
FC Exchange International Money Transfers
No transfer fee via online, branch or phone when transferring more than £10,000 or equivalent. GBP 3,000 1 day Online, Phone, Bank Account to Bank Account Go to site More
Exclusive: OFX (Ozforex) International Money Transfers
Exclusive: OFX (Ozforex) International Money Transfers
Exclusive offer: Special exchange rates and $0 transfer fee
OFX is currently offering finder.com.au exclusive exchange rates and $0 transfer fee on all transfers.
AUD 250 1 day Online, Phone, Agent Go to site More
Currency Online International Money Transfers
Currency Online International Money Transfers
Enjoy regular scheduled transfers, one off transfers and a range of currencies. Also enjoy your first transfer for free. AUD 0 2 days Online, Phone Go to site More
Compass Global Markets International Money Transfers
Compass Global Markets International Money Transfers
Send money in as little as 24-48 hours to a range of countries with Compass Global Markets. AUD 1,000 2 days Online, Phone Go to site More
1st Contact International Money Transfer
1st Contact International Money Transfer
$0 online fee without any minimum limit on money transfers. AUD 0 2 days Online, Phone, Bank Account to Bank Account Go to site More
Currency Solutions International Money Transfers
Currency Solutions International Money Transfers
Send money overseas for a range of reasons, including regular payments and buying overseas property. 97% Trustpilot score. AUD 3,000 2 days Online, Phone, Bank Account to Bank Account Go to site More

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Save money on your personal or business international money transfer today. Fill in the form and you’ll be contacted by a foreign exchange expert to have an obligation-free discussion about your options. Our foreign exchange experts offer a best rate guarantee, are ASIC authorised and never charge transfer fees.

They can help you with all your needs including:

  • Buying property abroad
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  • Regular overseas payments
  • Risk management
  • Forecasting

The steps to take when setting up an account with an international money transfer company

Receiving a bank cheque or bank account deposit is convenient, but your inheritance will go further if you use the services of a foreign exchange specialist.

You can set up an account in a couple of simple steps.

Once you fill in your personal details on the money transfer company’s website, you will be contacted by a customer service representative to confirm your identification and discuss your international money transfer needs.

Overseas inheritance and taxes

Unlike countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom, Australia does not have a gift or inheritance tax. You don’t need to pay tax on inheritances or gifts given to you from a person living overseas, or in Australia.

There’s an exception if the estate executor has told you that you’ll need to pay tax. It’s advisable to seek professional advice in this instance.

If there is a tax due in an overseas country, it will be paid from the estate and obligations will be settled before the money is transferred to your Australian account. For example, an estate can still generate an income after death.

The importance of keeping records for your tax return.

Investing inheritance in Australia

If you invest your inheritance in Australia, for example, in a savings account, property or shares, you’ll need to pay tax on any capital gains under Australia’s Capital Gains Tax (CGT) laws.

Did you know?

Austrac monitors international money transfers to Australian bank accounts from overseas.

Your guide to capital gains tax.

Jacob Joseph

Jacob is a writer and video journalist with finder.com.au. Credit cards, personal loans and savings accounts are his bread and butter, and he likes nothing more helping people understand the sometimes overly complex world of personal finance.

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International Money Transfer Offers

Learn about our information service
TorFX International Money Transfers

TorFX guarantee to beat any competitor's exchange rate for a transaction
Conditions apply

Exclusive: World First Foreign Exchange

Exclusive offer: $0 transfer fee
Transfer money into a range of currencies online and over the phone.

Exclusive: CurrencyFair International Money Transfers

Exclusive offer: 3 Free transfers (after your first transfer).
A peer-to-peer transfer service with a large range of currencies on offer.

FC Exchange International Money Transfers

No transfer fee via online, branch or phone when transferring more than £10,000 or equivalent.

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