faq - Deceased Estates

Some answers to frequently asked questions about the death of a loved one.

What if there is no will?

If there is no will, the next of kin will need to act on behalf of the estate. Alternatively, 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.

My loved one has recently passed away. What do I do now?

You’ll need to inform us 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. When available, you’ll also need to provide Illawarra Credit Union with a certified copy of proof of death and a Will (if applicable).

Should I close the accounts of the deceased?

It is common 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. Re-opening a closed account in the name of the deceased can be a complex, lengthy and time consuming process. Keeping accounts open ensures that funds can be easily accepted into the estate.

I have power of attorney over the deceased’s accounts, does this still apply after their passing?

No, all Power of attorneys, Guardianships and authorised signatories cease once a person is deceased. Upon their passing, only the next of kin, or Executor/Administrator/Legal representative will have the authority to engage with the bank regarding the deceased’s account.

When will I need probate or letters of administration?

We assess each estates circumstances on a case-by-case basis. Sometimes, we may require probate or Letters of Administration to be granted in order to release the funds. If this is the case, you’ll be advised.

Where do I get the death certificate?

The death certificate can usually be obtained from the Registry of Birth, Deaths and Marriages in your state or territory.

How long will it take for estate funds held in bank accounts to be released?

As the circumstances of each matter vary considerably, so too will the amount of time taken to settle each deceased estate. However, the earlier we receive all required documentation, the quicker we will be able to process the request.

Why do I need to be identified by Illlawarra Credit Union?

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.

What bills can be paid from the estate?

We’re able to pay some components of the funeral bill from the available estate funds when you provide us with an original invoice.

Can all funeral expenses be paid out of the deceased's available funds?

Once we have received the original tax invoice from the funeral director, only the funeral bill can be paid for directly from the deceased’s account. 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.

If there aren’t enough funds in the account to cover the invoice, we’ll consider alternatives and look to compensate the funeral director with other available funds from the estate. No other related expenses such as the wake, headstone or memorial can be paid from the deceased person’s account.

Will Illawarra Credit Union release funds from the deceased customer’s account to pay for additional expenses associated with the funeral?

Illawarra Credit Union 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.

What do I do if Illawarra Credit Union is still sending mail to the deceased?

It’s normal to receive a final statement for any transaction account once it’s been finalised, showing a nil balance. Please also note that when accounts have a debit or small credit balance, you’ll continue to receive statements until the balance is nil.

If you continue to receive mail in our late customer’s name beyond this point, please contact us on 13 22 49.

What is Safe Custody?

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.

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