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Assessing Interests in a Deceased Estate

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Last amended: 29 April 2009

Assessment of deceased estates

Generally, the beneficiary of a will does not automatically obtain an interest in any asset forming part of the deceased estate. In the majority of cases, the beneficiary will only obtain an interest in assets in a deceased estate as a result of the administration of the estate, usually by the executor.

If a person notifies DVA that they may have an interest in a deceased estate the decision maker should obtain the following information from the person:

Receiving interest from a deceased's estate

    

Any share in a deceased's estate is not an assessable asset until it is transferred into the name of the beneficiary. It is only when the executor of the estate has arranged to transfer a particular asset into the name of the beneficiary that the beneficiary gains any interest in that asset for the purposes of the assets test. Each case needs to be assessed on its facts to determine the date at which each individual asset was transferred into the name of the beneficiary.

If the estate has not been distributed twelve months after the death of the testator and DVA is aware that a person may have an interest in the estate, the case should be investigated to determine:

  • what is preventing the estate being finalised; and
  • whether the reasons are within the person's control.
Situations where interest cannot be received
    

Section 52(1) (h) VEA

An asset means any property, including property outside Australia.

The Department of Veterans' Affairs.