Look at our step-by-step guide online at westpac.com.au/bereavement or . Share this with family or relevant parties. We need to know as soon as possible so that we can start to help you through the process. Please notify us either in person, online or in writing and when available, provide Westpac with a certified copy of proof of death and a Will, if applicable.
If there is no Will, the next of kin will need to act on behalf of the Estate or an Administrator will need to be appointed by the Supreme Court in the state or territory where the assets are held. Please contact your local branch with the Death Certificate, and explain to them that a Will has not been located. Refer to Step 2: Locating the Will.
It is highly possible that payments will need to be made to the deceased’s accounts in the months following their passing. Examples of these payments are Superannuation benefits, shares, tax refunds, lost super cheques in the Estate of deceased person’s name and so on. If an account is closed and then needs to be re-opened in the name of the deceased, this can be a complex, lengthy and time consuming process. Keeping accounts open ensures that funds can be easily accepted into the Estate.
No, all Power of Attorneys, Guardianships and authorised signatories cease once a person is deceased. Only the next of kin, or Executor/Administrator/Legal representative will be able to engage with the bank regarding the deceased’s accounts after their passing.
Each estate’s individual circumstances are assessed by us, and in some cases we may require probate or Letters of Administration to be granted in order to release the funds. If this is the case, we’ll advise you in writing.
The death certificate can usually be obtained from the Registry of Birth, Deaths and Marriages in your state or territory. Refer to Step 3: Funeral arrangements and registering the death.
As the circumstances of each matter varies considerably, so too will the amount of time taken to settle each Deceased Estate. However, the earlier we receive all the appropriate documentation as per our requirements, the quicker we will be able to process the request. Refer to How Westpac helps you.
This is a legal requirement. The Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Act 2006 states that all signatories must be identified if instructing a financial institution about a Deceased Estate’s funds before such moneys can be released. Refer to Step 5: Identifying yourself.
We’re able to pay some components of the funeral bill from the available estate funds when you provide us with an original invoice
Only the funeral bill can be paid for directly from the deceased’s account once we have received the original tax invoice from the funeral director. If you would like to claim for funeral costs already paid, we’ll need the original receipt - in addition to the tax invoice - to reimburse any payment. Reimbursement can be done by visiting a Westpac branch, or by sending the invoice to Westpac Estates Management team. No other related expenses such as the wake, headstone or memorial can be paid from the deceased person’s account. See Step 3 for Funeral Arrangements.
Westpac will usually not release funds from our late customer’s account(s) to pay for additional kinds of funeral expenses, for example the wake, flights etc.
It is normal to receive a final statement for any transaction account once it’s been finalised, showing a nil balance. If you continue to receive mail in our late customer’s name beyond this point, please contact our Estates Management Team. You will continue to receive statements until the balance is nil, such as when accounts have a debit or small credit balance.
Safe Custody is the safe keeping of important documents and valuables. Items commonly requested by customers to be held in safe custody by the bank include property deeds, a Will as well as other valuables and documents. Should you require access to a safety deposit box to get the Will, you will need at least one of the proof of death requirements (a Medical Certificate, Death Certificate, Funeral Bill, Solicitor’s or Coroner’s Letter, Grant of Probate, Letters of Administration or a Probate Bond). When accessing the safety deposit box, you will be in the presence of two bankers, and only able to remove the Will if you are named as an Executor of the Will or can prove you are an authorised nominee of the Executor/s.