How to manage a deceased estate 

If you’ve recently suffered a loss, we’re here to help you through this difficult time. We understand you’ve got a lot to deal with right now – especially if you’re responsible for dealing with the financial side of things. We’ve prepared a guide to help you manage a deceased estate, so you have the support you need, every step of the way.

Start here

1. Let us know and confirm your identity

As soon as possible, let us know whichever way is most comfortable for you – by calling us or talking to our staff at a branch.

You can talk to our Deceased Estate Support Team on 1300 734 203, between 8am - 4.30pm AWST, Mon - Fri, or if you need to call outside these times our Contact Centre is available on 13 17 19. We’ll let you know what documents we’ll need and how to send them. If you prefer to visit one of our branches, bring along ID and the necessary documents so we can process everything during your visit.

Remember, we can only share account information with the estate executor, administrator, or, if there’s no executor or administrator, the next of kin.

Take a look at our Losing a loved one support guide (PDF) to see what documents you’ll need to provide, and the list of ID we’ll accept.

If you need any extra documents, like a Grand of Probate or Letter of Administration, we’ll let you know when you speak to us.

2. Submit forms and documents

Once you’ve spoken to us, you’ll need to complete and submit the forms and documents we’ve asked for. This will include a Deceased Customer Notification Form (PDF) which helps us identify the accounts held by the person that’s passed away, confirms their identity, and yours. It needs to be filled out by the estate executor, administrator or the next-of-kin.

You can drop your forms and documents into a branch, or post them to:

Deceased Estate Support Team
Bankwest
PO Box E237
Perth WA 6841

If you come into a branch we’ll certify the documents and give them back to you straight away. If you’re posting documents, make sure to send certified copies only – not the originals.

3. Organise funeral expenses

If you need money for funeral expenses (or other related costs and bills) whilst managing the estate, let us know. If there’s sufficient funds we might be able to reimburse you.

We can release money to cover costs if you’re the executor or administrator of the estate, if you’ve organised the funeral, or if you’ve already paid for the funeral with your own money.

To arrange this, simply visit a branch and bring the tax invoice if you haven’t paid for the funeral yet, or a receipt if you have.

If you’re the executor and you’d like to open an Estate of the Late account, contact us and we can let you know what’s needed.

4. We’ll finalise the accounts

After you’ve let us know and we’ve received all the necessary forms and documents, we’ll let you know if we need anything else to finalise the accounts. If you request it, we’ll send a letter confirming all the accounts and balances held by the deceased.

Once we’ve received everything we need, we’ll settle the estate. This means we’ll release the money and assets.

Once we’ve placed a stop on the accounts, regular payments (like direct debits and recurring payments) will stop, but some might continue. If you ask us, we’ll give you a list of regular payments on your loved one’s account.

To check on progress at any time, you can call our Deceased Estate Support Team, or email deceased.estates@bankwest.com.au.

Important forms and documents

Gathering documents and filling out forms is probably the last thing on your mind right now. But to help finalise the estate for you, we’ll need some of these.

Before we can help with your loved one’s accounts, we’ll need to see original versions or certified copies. We can certify the documents we need at a branch. We’ll make our own copies, and give you back the originals straight away.

Each set of circumstances is different, but generally we’ll need the following:

  • The Will and death certificate, or
  • Probate or Letters of Administration.

 

If you’re responsible for the estate, you’ll also need to:

Before we can settle the estate

Claim For Assets Held On Behalf of Deceased Customer (PDF) if you’re an executor, administrator, or next-of-kin.


If there’s a Will, we’ll need to see it. Depending on the value of the estate (the property and assets), we might also need a Letter of Administration (if there’s no valid Will), or a Grant of Probate (if there’s a valid Will). The Supreme Court in the state or territory where the estate is held can grant these.

Other account types

If your loved one had accounts with other Commonwealth Bank Group companies, you’ll need to let them know. Each company has it’s own deceased estate settlement process.

You can contact them directly on:

  • BWA Managed Investments - 1300 663 117 
  • CommBank - 1800 686 153
  • CommSec - 13 15 19  or +61 2 9115 1417 from overseas, or visit their FAQ’s
  • CommInsure General Insurance - 13 24 23
  • Colonial First State - 13 13 36
  • Commonwealth Bank Business Accounts - 1800 6868 153 or contact the Relationship Manager directly
  • Commonwealth Private Banking - 1300 362 081 or contact the Private Banker directly
  • Commonwealth Financial Planner - Contact the Planner directly.


If your loved one was an employee of Commonwealth Bank Group, including Bankwest, they might have superannuation with our employee superannuation fund, Commonwealth Bank Group Super. If so, contact the fund to let them know.

Who else can help?

There’s a number of other services and organisations that can help you during this difficult time.

In an emergency, call 000 or talk to Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement 

The Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement is a not-for-profit organisation providing education, counselling, research and clinical services for those who're experiencing grief and bereavement. You can call them on 1300 664 786

Australian Government – births, deaths and marriages registries

It’s the responsibility of each state in Australia to provide Death Certificates. This is where you can get more information on the process in your state.

Australian Government - Department of Human Services

The Department of Human Services offers information that may be helpful at this time, like:

  • How to obtain a death certificate
  • Information on organising a funeral
  • What government assistance may be available
  • Who else needs to be advised.

For more information, you can visit the Department of Human Services' website or visit a service centre.

Australian Taxation Office

You might need to lodge a final tax return on behalf of the deceased. You can find out more information on the ATO website.

Australian Funeral Directors Association

The Australian Funeral Directors Association (AFDA) may be able to plan a funeral or they can point you in the direction of a funeral director.

Legal advice

To find a lawyer, choose the Law Society in your state or territory below:


For Probate and Letters of Administration enquiries, contact the Supreme Court in your state or territory below:

We're here to help 

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