Deceased estates frequently asked questions

We've collated some of the most common questions about finalising accounts and services, to help you understand the process and requirements.

Accounts

What do I do about the home loan?

Please contact the branch where the home loan was originally opened. If you aren't sure which branch this is, call us on 13 17 19.
 

Why have you stopped my credit card?

The deceased customer was the primary card holder and therefore responsible for the card account. As they've passed away, the card account is stopped. If you'd like a new card, you will need to apply for a credit card in your own name.
 

Can I close the account/s held by the deceased?

Each case is different. Please contact us on 13 17 19 for more information.
 

I have cheques made payable to the Estate. Can I still deposit them into the account in the deceased's name?

No. They should be banked into an account opened in the name of the Estate.

Bank and legal requirements

What happens if the Deceased did not have a Will?

We recommend you seek independent legal advice.
 

I do not wish to provide a copy of the Will. Can I just provide the front page that shows who the executor is?

Requirements vary between estates, and each case is assessed separately. To discuss your individual circumstances, please call us on 13 17 19. Alternatively, you may seek independent legal advice.
 

I filled out the Deceased Customer Notification Form, why do I have to fill these other forms?

The forms provide different information to assist in assessing the estate.
 

I am one of multiple executors named on the Will – why have you sent the forms for completion to the other executors?

We need the written agreement of all named executors.
 

I am the executor of the estate making a claim. Why do I have to give details of relatives already deceased? Why is this relevant?

Our forms provide information to assist us in determining who the entitled claimants to the estate are.
 

Why can't I have the money held in the deceased's accounts?

Requirements vary between estates, and each case is assessed separately. To discuss your individual circumstances, please call us on 13 17 19. Alternatively, you may seek independent legal advice.
 

Why is all this paperwork required?

We're responsible for ensuring we release any money from the accounts in accordance with the law. If you need any assistance completing the paperwork, please call us on 13 17 19.
 

Can a power of attorney still be used after date of death?

No, a power of attorney is a formal document where a person (the principal or donor) authorises another person (the attorney or donee) to represent them or act on their behalf. The power of attorney ceases upon the death of the principal/donor.
 

Is the medical certificate, listing the cause of death, sufficient to commence finalising the deceased's accounts held with the Bank?

No, the full Death Certificate contains additional information, which is required by the Bank.

 

Estate debts, bills and funds

Can I get reimbursement for a funeral expense?

Yes, if you are the person who paid the funeral expense, and there are funds available in the deceased's accounts. You will need to bring the original receipt to the branch in order to arrange the reimbursement.
 

I don’t have any money to pay the deceased's debts owing to Bankwest. What can I do?

Unless you are a joint account holder or guarantor, you will not be responsible for the debts of the deceased's estate.
 

What happens if the estate is insolvent (has more debts than assets/funds)?

If the estate is insolvent, the executor/administrator of the estate should call us on 13 17 19 for further information. Seeking independent legal advice is also recommended.
 

I have bills that need to be paid and Bankwest has declined to arrange payment. Why can’t I have them paid?

There are various reasons for payment requests to be declined. To discuss your individual circumstances, please call us on 13 17 19. Alternatively, you may seek independent legal advice.
 

Will I only get the balance of the deceased's account/s as at the date of their death?

Upon the finalisation of an estate, we'll pay all funds held in an account at the time of finalisation, plus accrued but unpaid interest, less any applicable fees.
 

I have bills to pay for the deceased. Can I arrange for these to be paid from the deceased's account?

Usually only accounts or bills incurred by the deceased prior to their death will be considered for payment, apart from funeral expenses. A Claim for Assets Held on Behalf of a Deceased Customer form is required to enable payment requests to be considered, and arranged.
 

Who is liable for the deceased's credit card debt?

If the deceased was the primary cardholder, then their Estate is liable for the debt.
 

Why can't the joint lending accounts be changed to my sole name?

We consider this change in circumstances as requiring a new loan, which must be assessed according to usual procedure.
 

Why doesn't Bankwest just write off the credit card debts when the cardholder is deceased?

Until the outstanding amount is repaid, there is still a debt owing.

Estate of the Late accounts

Do I have to open an 'Estate of the Late' account to distribute funds from the estate?

We don't require an 'Estate of the Late' account to release funds. This is a matter for the executor/administrator or legal representative to determine.
 

How do I go about opening an account for the estate?

Your nearest branch can guide you through the process of opening up an account for the estate.
 

What type of account needs to be opened for the estate?

Any non-personal account can be opened, and it is the choice of the executor/administrator.
 

How does an 'Estate of the Late' account work?

The account works like a normal transaction account.

Fees

In finalising the estate, are there fees payable for bank cheques?

Generally no (fees may apply where large numbers of cheques are requested).
 

If I withdraw a term deposit in the name of the deceased before the maturity date, will I be charged a prepayment cost?

No, there is no cost for the prepayment of a term deposit for a deceased customer.

Forms

Who can certify documents?

Each state is different. Contact the Law Society in your state for further information.
 

Who can witness Statutory Declarations?

Each state is different. Contact the Law Society in your state for further information.
 

Which forms do I need to complete, and how do I fill them in?

Call us on 13 17 19 for assistance, as each case is different. We can advise you of the forms you'll need to fill out. Also, each form will have completion instructions to make things easier for you. However, feel free to call us on 13 17 19 if you're have any questions - we're here to help.

Probate and Letters Administration

Why do I need to get Probate?

We recommend you seek legal advice.
 

The estate has accounts held across multiple states in Australia. Is the Probate issued in one state enough to close all accounts with Bankwest?

Probate requirements vary between estates. Your legal representative can assist and advise in this regard.

We're here to help

Need more help? Speak with someone from the team today.