Guidance for deceased estates

When a registration holder or registered operator dies, it is important to let us know as soon as you can.

We can help you to:

  • transfer aircraft ownership
  • appoint a new registered operator
  • cancel the registration of an aircraft.

You may need to apply for an aviation reference number if you do not have one.

Change the registered operator (not aircraft registration)

Within 14 days appoint a new registered operator. If eligible, the registration holder can appoint themselves as registered operator.

To change the registered operator, you must:

Apply for a transfer or cancellation of aircraft registration

This includes deceased registration holders where the individual was also the registered operator.


Probate is the process to legally validate the deceased's will. Once probate is granted, the executor can administer assets as directed in the will.

When notifying us of the death of a registered owner or registration holder:

  • lodging a 'Transfer of aircraft ownership' form is not required until probate is issued and the asset sold or title transferred
  • the executor can lodge a 'Transfer of aircraft ownership' before probate
  • if the registration holder is changed after probate, we will:
    • change the name of the registration holder to 'The Estate of...'
    • amend the address and contact details on the aircraft record.

Form 027-1: Notification of Transfer of aircraft ownership - Part 1 (PDF 115 KB)

    Cancellation of aircraft registration

    Aircraft registration can be cancelled due to the death of the registration holder.

    To cancel the registration, you must:

    Requirements to transfer or cancel registration after a death

    All forms and supporting documentation should include:

    • forms in the name of the deceased party, signed by the executor of the estate
    • a letter from the solicitor acting on behalf of the estate confirming:
      • the executor's details
      • the death of the registration holder
    • a death certificate if issued
    • contact details of the executor including:
      • physical and postal addresses
      • phone number/s
      • email address
    • if there is no will, a letter from the solicitor must be provided
    • the executor should write 'Executor' on the form near their signature.

    In the event there is no solicitor for the settlement of the state, the executor must:

    • provide a copy of the will which states the executor
    • a Commonwealth statutory declaration confirming their appointment.
    Last updated:
    17 Feb 2022
    Online version available at:
    Back to top of page