Bona vacantia


2.17      If a person dies intestate in Victoria and is not survived by any next of kin, their residuary estate belongs to the Crown as bona vacantia.16  Bona vacantia is Latin for ‘unclaimed goods’ or ‘property that has no owner’.17  Bona vacantia is considered ‘unclaimed property’ under the Financial Management Act 1994 (Vic).18 

2.18   The Minister for Finance may grant,  convey, transfer,  assign or deliver unclaimed property on such terms as the Minister thinks fit.19  If the Crown became  entitled to the property as a result of the death of any person, the Minister for Finance may grant,  convey, transfer, assign or deliver the property to: 

  • any person, whether related to the deceased  or not, who was dependent on the deceased, or
  • any person for whom the deceased  might reasonably have been expected  to make provision (in the opinion of the Minister).20



 16  Administration and Probate Act 1958 (Vic) s 55.
 17  Peter Butt and Peter Nygh (eds), Encyclopaedic Australian Legal Dictionary (online) (LexisNexis Butterworths, at 20 March 2012).
 18  Financial Management Act 1994 (Vic) s 58. According to information provided by State Trustees, there have been 115 instances of bona vacantia estates  passing to the Crown as unclaimed property from financial year 2006 – 07 to 2011–12.
 19  Financial Management Act 1994 (Vic) s 58 (1); Ted Baillieu MLA, Premier of Victoria, General Order: Administration of Acts (22 February 2011).
 20  Financial Management Act 1994 (Vic) s 58 (3) (a).  

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013 - 13:00

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