Legal matters

Your will

Your will is a legal document in which you to state who will inherit your possessions (i.e. your estate) when you die, and who you want to manage your estate.

If you don’t have a will at the time of your death (i.e. you die intestate), your estate will be divided according to a formula set out in government legislation.

It is important to keep your will up to date – you might need to amend it if any of your circumstances change.

See Factsheet:

Agents and power of attorney

It might be useful to have an agent or someone with 'power of attorney' to act on your behalf in some circumstances.

An agent is authorised by you to act in accordance with your directions, but you are liable for anything your agent does in carrying out those directions. The agreement with an agent can be stopped at any time.

Power of attorney is made in writing and must be done while you are legally capable (i.e. of sound mind). You decide what powers your attorney will have, so it should be someone you trust. The power of attorney ceases when you die and your will comes into effect.

Talk to a solicitor, the Public Trustee or another qualified professional for advice and assistance with creating or cancelling a power of attorney.

Note 1: If you want your attorney to deal with DVA on your behalf, you must tell us about this and also tell us of any changes to those details.

Note 2: Your attorney cannot receive pension payments on your behalf.

More information

DVA has produced in information pack called Planning ahead – A guide to putting your affairs in order. You can download one of these from this website or get one from your nearest DVA office.

There is also a checklist that can be used to record the contact details of important people, businesses and organisations that may need to be notified in case of your death.

See: Planning ahead kit

See Factsheets:

  • Arrangements for other people to act on your behalf – agents, power of attorney etc. (LEG01a) (PDF  110KB) - This fact sheet provides information on the roles of agents, trustees and powers of attorney in relation to the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986. As this is a complex area and there may be differences in state laws, it is recommended that you consult a solicitor, the Public Trustee in your state or territory or a private trustee.

See related forms:

  • Personal information sheet – A confidential record (D8729) (PDF 79KB) - This will help your family with personal information in the difficult time following bereavement.
  • Medical details of a veteran – A confidential record (D8730) (PDF 353KB) - If you choose to complete and retain this form, the information might eventually be of assistance if you make a claim for war widow(er)'s pension.