If the deceased person is an account holder of a joint savings or transaction account (excluding loans and credit cards), the funds in the account generally will not form part of the Deceased Estate, and when this is the case the joint account holder will usually be able to continue to operate the account. The deceased person’s name will be removed from the account once we receive the Death Certificate.
We’re sorry for your loss. Our staff can help make the process of settling your loved one’s banking and estate as easy as possible. This guide is designed to help you understand the steps in the process.
You will need to visit your local branch or call us on 132 888 so that one of our staff members can assist you through this process. We have put a summary of each step together so you know what to expect along the way.
Step 1 – Provide the necessary documents and information to us
Collect the information and documents in the checklist below and provide it to us. If you are not a customer of Bank Australia you may also need to meet our identification verification requirements.
Step 2 – Complete any additional requirements
We will send a letter to the executor detailing the accounts held and the specific documentation required for the funds to be released or accounts finalised. Please see below for the list of documents we may require. If you have already obtained any of these, you can provide them to us at any time.
Step 3 – Related expenses
If there are sufficient funds available, we may release funds from the accounts of the deceased estate to pay for funeral expenses or any other expense related to settling the estate (such as obtaining Probate or Insurances). Costs paid from the account are capped at $15,000 without the production of probate/letter of administration as dictated by section 69B of the Banking Act.
If expenses related to the estate have been paid, you can send us a receipt of the payment (an original certified copy) together with the invoice (an original certified copy) and we may reimburse you for these expenses.
Step 4 – Release the funds held in the estate
Once the requirements for the estate have been met, funds held in the estate will be released to the care of the estate’s executor or solicitor via EFT or a Bank cheque. The executor must complete an ‘Authorisation to Close Account(s)’ form prior to the release of funds. This form is available from any Bank Australia branch or will be provided by Bank Australia.
In order to finalise an estate, Bank Australia will require the following documents:
□ Death Certificate;
□ Will of the deceased;
□ Will Indemnity form;
□ Request to Close Accounts form;
□ Certification form;
□ Letters of Administration may be required if there is no valid Will. We will advise the executor if this is required once the estate has been reviewed;
□ Grant of Probate will be required if the value of the accounts exceed $15,000;
□ Funeral invoice or receipt of made payment.
The Executor will need to provide us with originals at one of our branches for certifying, or certified copies of the documents listed above to finalise the estate. Certified copies of documents can be returned to one of our branches or posted to:
Attention: Estates Team
248 Commercial Road, Morwell VIC 3840
The Indemnity Form, Account Closure Form, and Certification Form can all be scanned and emailed to email@example.com.
Note: These requirements are a guide only, and may change depending on the specific nature of an estate.
There are a range of services available to provide support, guidance and advice during this difficult time.
- Australian Taxation Office
There may be some important tax and superannuation factors to evaluate on a deceased estate for the executor and the beneficiaries.
Phone: 13 28 65
- Birth, Deaths and Marriages Registry
The provision of certificates is the responsibility of your state and territory government.
The Department of Human Services can offer payments, counselling and other services to help people adjust after someone close to them has died.
Phone: 132 300
Dealing with grief and loss can be challenging, but free, confidential support is available:
- Griefline - Grief and loss helpline
Phone: 1300 845 745 12pm – 3am 7 days
Online chat: 24/7 online counselling
- Lifeline - Crisis support and suicide helpline
Phone: 13 11 14 24/7
Online chat: 7pm – midnight, 7 days
- Beyond Blue - Depression and anxiety helpline
Phone: 1300 22 4636 24/7
Online chat: 3pm - midnight, 7 days
- Redkite - For children and young people with cancer, and their families
Phone: 1800 733 54 Monday to Friday, 9am – 7pm
What happens if the deceased is a joint account holder?
What happens to a home loan held by the deceased?
Any home loans in the name of the deceased person will be considered in the finalisation of the Estate. Unfortunately, we cannot change the names listed on the loan or title. There are a number of options available to the Executor, usually involving the sale of the property or refinancing of the home loan. If the loan is joint the survivor can lodge a survivorship application to have the title changed into their name only.
What happens to existing transactions to and from the deceased's accounts?
The executor is required to advise the bank of any regular debits or credits they wish to maintain on the account within 30 days. If the bank is not advised within 30 days after being notified of the customers passing all regular credits and debits will be stopped.
Can grant of probate/letters of administration be waived?
To protect the financial affairs of the deceased person and the beneficiaries of the Estate, Bank Australia is under no obligation to release funds in the Estate without a Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration being provided, regardless of the value of the Estate.
If the value of deposit accounts in the Estates exceeds $15,000 a Grant of Probate is required.
Can the funds be transferred to a personal account?
We will only release funds by EFT or bank cheque payable in the name of the Estate. Alternatively, the Executor may choose to open an ‘Estate of’ account with Bank Australia and have the funds deposited directly into the account.
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