Transcript

Adrian Cobald: The Government getting all your money from your estate? Yes, it can happen to you. I’m Adrian Corbould, Accredited Specialist, Wills & Estates at Turnbull Hill Lawyers continuing the Battle of Wills series where I talk about contested estates and related matters.

Today I’m talking about Bona Vacantia, ownerless goods. What this means is, in the category of people I’ve talked about in intestacy, none of them exist and it all goes to the Government.

Who are those categories of people again where there’s no Will? There is no spouse, no children, no parents, no siblings, no grandparents, no aunts and uncles, no cousins, first cousins. If those people don’t exist at the time of the death, all the estate goes to the State Government and they can spend it on how they like, bridges, roads, what-have-you.

However, claims can be brought on that Bona Vacantia, when it goes to the Government, if the claimant can show some certain reasons as to why they should receive something.

These would be people who don’t benefit under intestacy or people who aren’t eligible persons under family provision. They have to make a claim via the Crown Solicitor to the Attorney General and they have to be someone who would be dependent but that would be someone who received regular payments from the deceased or a charity or an organisation where there may be some expectation the deceased should have made some payment to them or anyone else who has a moral and just claim upon the estate.

Very difficult process, completely at the discretion of the Attorney General. There’s about 15 ownerless goods estates per year, anecdotally, but to avoid all this happening what can you do? Make a valid Will. Very easy. That’s all today. Thanks for joining me. Talk again next time.


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