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Step 4: Notifying Westpac and other organisations

There are a number of organisations you'll need to inform, from Government institutions to other banks, membership clubs to utility companies. Notifying Westpac results in changes to the deceased’s accounts and sets off a chain of actions that ultimately end in the settling of the estate

In addition to informing friends and family of the death, there will be a number of organisations you’ll need to inform, like other banks, building societies and utility companies. The letting others know checklist (PDF 63KB) will help you with whom to contact at this time.  

 

You can notify Westpac of your loved one’s passing either at any branch or by calling the Estates Management team.

As soon as we’re notified, we inform all parts of Westpac and Westpac Group, and we will let you know if you need to take any further action regarding specific accounts. You can notify us without any proof of death documents which will result in an immediate temporary hold applied to the transaction account (for sole accounts only) of the deceased for 48 hours. Joint accounts are not impacted by this for the joint account holder. For joint account holders, the joint holder will still have access to the account (credits and debits) as per normal (except for term deposits and if joint holder is a secondary holder of the product). Joint accounts will be transferred into the name of the surviving joint account holder(s) once we have received a certified copy of the Death Certificate, in accordance with the products terms and conditions.


If you notify us with at least one of the proof of death documents then a permanent hold will be placed on the sole transaction account. This means:

 

  • No money can be taken out of the accounts.
  • Westpac continues to allow all credits into deceased accounts.
  • We place a restraint on the account to stop any Direct Debits from being debited – including utility bills, mortgage or loan payments.

 

Please note this hold will affect all access to this sole account. Speak to us if you or someone else is dependent on this account for funds and still require access to it. Alternative arrangements may need to be made to continue to pay the bills. We’ll provide you with a full list of information to assist with this task – see Step 3 for more information.

 

The only exception to this is home insurance, which we may continue to pay if you ask us to and credit funds are available.

 

We recommend that accounts of the deceased are left open for twelve months to receive payments from superannuation and other sources. Having to re-open an account for the deceased is to be avoided as it is complex and time-consuming.

 

After you have told us that a person has passed away, for a short time they may still be sent mail from us. This is because it is prepared and printed several weeks in advance.

Letting others know checklist:

A list of organisations, institutions and people to notify following the loss of a loved one. Download the checklist (PDF 63KB)

 

Things to consider:

  • Consider notifying us as soon as possible - Fraud and identity theft may be the last thing on your mind, but are a reality
  • Locate legal documents such as passports and driving licences that will need to be returned and cancelled